I painted a brick house. I call this house a her, but in reality the house is probably gender neutral. OK, the truth is, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get that song stuck in your head. Sometimes I use my power for evil. I can’t help it. I am probably going to have to do some serious volunteer work to make up for that, but that’s a price I am willing to pay. Just look at the pretty picture and sing the song quietly to yourself. You know you want to!
This was a commission I got from a woman, who may or may not live in South Dakota. She wanted a portrait painted of her house since she doesn’t have any pets. I have to admit I was intimidated because I don’t have a lot of practice painting buildings. The last successful painting of a house I made was in 8th grade. To be a fair, I did win an award for it…because of my fantastic use of color. If my life were a novel, that award moment would have been an excellent literary example of some serious foreshadowing. Anyway, as I was saying, I was scared of the straight lines and the brick and the whole, “OH MY GAWD, it’s a building” thing. I had some serious doubt racing through my mind.
I spent the past three weeks thinking about it and very little time actually painting it. I cried to my husband that I might not be able to do it. He rolled his eyes…often. I procrastinated by washing dishes and painting rainbows and doing self-portraits. Finally, I decided it was do or die time so I got down to business.
Once I started it went pretty smoothly. I got hung up a few times on the brick. It took longer than I expected so I would take little breaks and collage for a while and then return to the bricks. That way I could see them with fresh eyes. I didn’t want to get burned out on the rectangles or rush through them. I stuck with it and I am glad I did! The bricks really make this house. I mean, the bricks give her character. She’s a brick house, after all. She’s totally letting it all hang out. Just look at those gorgeous flowers, right?
So, I learned a few lessons from this painting. I learned that I can do things I don’t think I can do. I learned breaks are good, but not if they are just procrastination based on fear. I also learned that doing something new and scary is exciting and invigorating. I already knew this, but I need reminders often. I mean ALL THE TIME. Like daily. I’m a slow learner, you guys.
On top of all of that, this project unleashed my creative spark. I’ve got a billion ideas going on in my mind right now and after a trip to the art store I have the materials to actually do some of them. I think I have finally emerged from the cranky slump I have been in. I woke up feeling optimistic and excited today and full of energy. Like the future is all bright and shiny, and the grass is greener, and I might actually have a future in this whole making art thing that has been stressing me out so much lately.
I just want to say thank you to the nice lady, who may or may not live in South Dakota, for commissioning me to do this piece. Thank you for pushing me beyond my comfort zone and for giving me a project that not only helped me gain more confidence and grow professionally, but also helped me move past this blaisé attitude I have had lately. It feels good to be back in my creative groove again!
Art is good. So are the people who support your efforts. So are the people who may or may not live in South Dakota…in a brick house. She’s might mighty and lettin’ it all hang out. Sorry. I just can’t help myself.