All you need is a bakery and a coffee shop!

Well here I am chatting again about my battle with acrylic painting.  I’m not sure just yet who is winning or losing but there is one thing that is emerging from this whole process and that is, I’m having fun.  Throwing out all the rules and giving fear the boot have helped me to just paint for the fun of it.  I’m trying to learn, of course, how to handle acrylic paints but surprisingly I am having fun in the process.

I suppose it is because my typical style with pencil and watercolor is to render with precision.  When I first started painting in earnest in the late 1980’s my goal was “photographic” results.  With that goal in mind the whole process can get a little tense at times.  In truth for me that kind of a goal was always unrealistic and I ultimately had to “let it go” and accept the style that emerged from inside me onto the canvas.  I believe the style that emerged from inside me onto the canvas is a gift from God and these days I just try to do my best.  Sometimes the result is good and sometimes it isn’t but each time I start and finish there is an accomplishment and hopefully some new knowledge has come to reside inside my brain for use later.

But for right now in this acrylic adventure I’m embracing whimsey and fantasy.  That approach has been freeing in so many ways.  That’s not to say there isn’t an element of tension because, of course, I want whatever I’m working on to “come out good.”  But I suppose my “come out good” standard is different.  Whimsey has given me permission to create little fantasy worlds (see below “Walk of Life”) where all you need is a bakery and a coffee shop.

“Walk of Life” Acrylic on Wood

The funny thing about letting go in one area is that it can spark different kinds of creativity in other areas.  You see once I started painting wood plaques and boxes I decided to fashion a few things out of clay and paint those too.  Fashioning three dimensional objects out of clay was a whole new way to be creative and with the exception of dirty hands (which really bugged me) it was great fun and a true test.  So far I’ve fashioned snowmen (easy), mushrooms (easy) and a cat (not so easy) and the result was okay and I’m okay with okay at this moment.

I guess the point for me is to push past the difficulty that comes at the beginning of a learning process and then to push on and on until you produce something really good.  Remember when we push ourselves there are rewards waiting.  The rewards might be openly worldly with awards or accolades or deeply personal and private.  Either way it’s worth the effort.