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Oil on Canvas

8” x 8”

It is remarkable how easy my days get filled with the “business” side of art. It is creative work as well, but if I don’t guard my time, weeks (or even months!) can pass without actually dipping my brush into paint.

It felt so good to get out into my backyard and paint last week. I had decided over the weekend to participate in the “Humboldt County Paint Out”, a yearly plein air painting event that occurs at the end of this month. I have never participated in anything like this and suddenly became overwhelmed thinking about it! I haven’t painted a lot in the last few months, and like anything else, when you don’t practice you become rusty.

Am I up to this challenge I put before myself? Do I have the physical stamina? Can I handle the materials? Am I okay if it doesn’t go as planned and I struggle with painting outside? I decided it’s okay not to know and it’s okay if it doesn’t go as planned, but I also decided I should start practicing!

So I‘m taking it slow and starting in the backyard near the comfort of my home, facilities, water (and snacks!).

The light shifted, the wind blew my materials around and was interrupted by a few rounds of fetch, but it went better than expected and was even a little fun!

One thing that helped was the encouragement from another artist friend to slow down and take in the moment. I took a good hour to sit in silence, listen to the sounds, observe my surroundings, journal, sketch, acknowledge my anxiety and the disruptions, and begin to make peace with them.

I hope to give room for this practice more as it really did help release me from getting hung up on imperfection and gave me a moment to just be and find myself, with all my anxieties and imperfections, simply a creature in creation.

I hope to keep exploring what it means to create from that space and not worry so much about perfection or performing. For my internal sanity I definitely need to take this approach, and release some of the unneeded pressure of Plein Air painting event. (Then, maybe it even might be fun!)

I’ll keep you posted!

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