Orchid in Oils #1


10″ x 12″, Oil on canvas

So, small it is for now, and on with the trying game, and from a wee orchid that’s blooming nicely. Sitting outside with it in the morning light is a lovely way to start the day….but more importantly, this first try has plenty of challenges that are testing me. Small doesn’t diminish the difficulty, or improve my skills for that matter, but the challenge is beginning to coax my brain into imagining how to approach this thing when I’m away from the work, and that’s a good start. Things like seeing creative and gestural marks, and how to suggest light and tone and dimension, and where to emphasize and where to ignore. If that process, that understanding  were to be more integrated when I have a brush in my hand then I’d be away on a hack, but alas, the struggle continues once I pick them up…

I was listening to the radio when painting the other day, and a classicly-trained Japanese pianist who only improvises played some beautiful pieces, but when asked by the radio host about her process, she said she’s never ever happy with her work. It seems to be part and parcel of this creativity game, always striving for something more, something better. I suppose it’s what keeps us obsessively at it…


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