Monday, May 12, 2014

10. Just Start

I CAN procrastinate like a pro! I know I'm doing it, I know I don't like to do it, and I even know how to stop doing it. Most times I shrug it off; I'm good with deadlines. But occasionally, and usually with a person portrait, it can go on for a tad too long for my comfort.

THAT'S WHEN I have to close my eyes and visualize this painting, called Lion Reading, which hangs in Kaweah Delta hospital, in Visalia, CA. I painted it 16 years ago, in 1998. I was still struggling with making my living as an artist after a divorce, and also raising a 7- year old daughter, Bronwen, no money, not sure when the next commission would come. So I designed this 8'x8' painting, to present to the hospital in hopes of selling it.

I GOT a good part of the painting done, but when it came to painting Lion's eyes I froze. He's telling an exciting story so his eyes needed to be bright and opened, but NOT crazed. He's not going to EAT the young animals! 

A DAY went by- then another. A week. Finally, frustrated by my lack of confidence, Bronwen came up to me, handed me a paintbrush, fully loaded, with that look on her face that meant I know all things, and said "Just start. You'll figure it out." Yeah, that's my girl. 

I DID start, I did figure it out, and I sold it to the hospital for a whopping $5000, enough money to allow me to take a breath and go forward. And today, right after I post this, I am going to get up from the computer, load a paintbrush and "just start."

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