Well, it's done! I finished outlining the branches in 1 hour, as opposed to the near 12 hours it took to do the feathers. Oy! I've worn all my pens down to the nubs, even smashing one down completely in a fit of rage. Surprisingly, though, that was one of the only frustrations I faced with this piece. I must say, I'm still on the lookout for the perfect ultra fine point pigment ink pen to use for outlining on paint. Any suggestions are welcome. Well, without further ado, here it is.
I'm having a hard time finishing this piece. This should come as no surprise to me, as I rarely finish anything, hence my delay in making a real career out of all this.
This time, though, it's an emotional attachment. I've never made a project this involved before. I'm having a hard time preparing myself for the detachment that's to come. I've invested countless hours and painstaking detail into this painting. And now, when it's done, I've got to invest my time and focus into getting rid of it. Doesn't that seem counter-intuitive? I've got to convince people, in an objective way, to spend their hard earned money on this magnanimous effort. I have to put a price to this priceless thing. How do I do that? How the fuck am I supposed to do this for a living? Crap.
At the beginning of each summer, I'm subconsciously urged to limit the music I listen to two decades. I'll give you a hint: I wasn't alive during either of them. I think this stems from my youth. When school was out, I would have as much time as I wanted to tear through my dad's CD collection (which, much to my dismay, replaced his vast vinyl collection as soon as CD's were reported to be a lasting format). Before my discovery of new pop music (Janet, Paula, Mariah and the like), all I knew about were these albums of yesteryear. I listened to the White Album and Sgt. Peppers over and over again. I really had a thing for Genesis. My friends and I made up dances to Beach Boys classics, like Barbara Ann and Help Me Rhonda. On my own, I listened to songs like Sloop John B, which made me feel uneasy, but in a really great way. Like I didn't like the way the grandson felt, but on some level I understood it and it spoke to me. This is how my musical self-discovery went. I'd skip over songs that weren't obvious to listen to the ones that were. Eventually, I stopped skipping. I confronted the songs inspired by heartbreak, ennui, and evil. While my babysitters were supervising my little sister's coloring outside the lines, I was learning to listen outside the lines. I'd listen to a random song from a random album and never be able to find it again. My dad had hundreds of CD's. This was my first understanding of "needle in a haystack". Years later, I'd recognize melodies and harmonies that resided deep in my memory, associating itself with another song with which I was familiar. This is how I rediscovered bands in my late teens and early twenties. Groups like The Sonics, The Move, The Zombies, and T Rex. My musical education has been very organic. I don't try too hard to discover new music. I feel like my life will lead me to artists I'm supposed to discover (and re-discover) when I'm ready to really love and get them.
So now it's May. Windows and doors are being left open for longer periods of time. I'm back at home, where nostalgia completely overwhelms me on a daily basis, with loads of time to explore my musical past. I feel myself gravitating towards the sounds and voices that have nestled themselves deep within my psyche's soil. Like fossils waiting to be discovered and connect the dots. Due to the fact that almost every single person I know is involved in some musical project or another, I tend to ease back into the present as the summer wanes on. But for now, I will revel in my musical archaeological dig and let my psyche make the playlists.
I'm just now realizing I've been posting my progress photos to Facebook and not this here endeavor of creative expression.
Today, I'll be finishing waves, grass, and branches. Then comes the tricky one: Feathers. There is so much fine detail with that one. I'm a little nervous to screw it up. Which is why I've left it to last. I'm anticipating a bit of frustration. I also ordered new pens from Blick since I've used up most of the ink from my existing collection and I want the lines to be clean and fresh.
I'm a little conflicted on how to finish the piece. My original plan was to coat the entire thing in a polyurethane varnish. Perhaps a light mist. But part of me likes the unfinished quality the wood has, so I may just coat the painted portions. What do you think?
On top of almost finishing this exhausting project, I've started a raw food cleanse. It's gotten a little bit easier, but in order to avoid toxins, I haven't been taking allergy medicine, which is taking its toll. But I've rekindled my love for salads, so I think this quest is going to help me eat healthier in general, not relying so much on meats and dairy. I have to say though, I am craving a turkey club with french fries and a cup of coffee like nobody's business.