I worked from a photo I took 3 years ago in the John C. Campbell Folk School Gardens. Every time Edward would make a certain, low, clucking chortle, Margaret would race to him as fast as she could and they would stand facing each other for several seconds.
Only Margaret reacted this way. The other hens went about their hunting and pecking, ignoring him. I always thought Margaret loved Edward.
I don't paint as much as I used to and I don't post on this blog as much as I used to either. I'm not as active on social media sites as I once was and this year I declined teaching workshops. It's not that I don't want to do any of these activities, it's that my schedule has changed, as in, I have a job. A full-time, fun, interesting, challenging job that pays into social security and comes with benefits like medical, vision and dental insurance, life insurance and a matching 401K. A job I am very grateful to have. And do I miss my free as a little bird painting days? You bet.
Here's the other major benefit for which I am most happy. I don't have the pressure of having to produce an income with my art, I can be a student. I can try new mediums and subjects. I can experiment and create absolutely dreadful paintings that I wouldn't dare show anyone! I can make discoveries and I can grow.
You don't have any time to paint because you have a full-time job. I do if I stop doing the things I mentioned in the first paragraph. I also wake-up early, work small and have something always in process.
Plus, online art instruction abounds and is perfect for my "work when you can and at your own pace schedule." In July of 2015 I signed up for an online acrylic portraiture atelier with Chantel Barber and devoted the last 12months to working in acrylic. I learned a lot. My intention was to spend the next 12 months in traditional oils, but after 4 days and a constant headache I've reconsidered.
This past week, I've felt drawn back to watercolor. Portraits in watercolor. Direct sketching on the paper. Working at a high tilt and letting the washes mix and mingle...there have been lots of throw aways and much angst. I've been here before and given up. But today, I had a breakthrough. I painted something I love....which encouraged me to share it with you and encourage you to continue too. Whatever your circumstances, continue doing what you love.