Day 7

You know how sometimes you run out of money but still need to make some kind of meal happen so you start digging around in the fridge, and then you find something rancid and forgotten in the back, like a jar of black guacamole? That’s what today was like at work. I didn’t want to go, but obviously I had to since I don’t have any PTO left, and we kept getting nitpicked and I just wanted to throw it away and use some nice-smelling hand sanitizer and be done with it.

So I didn’t have any magical inspiration when I sat down to paint after dinner, since crappy days at work tend to suck the creative lifeblood out of me… or so I thought. I used to throw days like today away for artmaking. I’d figure I didn’t feel like making anything, so nothing good could possibly come out of it, so there was no reason to waste perfectly good art supplies.

But this time I pulled out a photo of this plant on the road behind our house.. I think it’s a fertilizer factory (orΒ Β ‘silos of sh!t’Β  if – like me – you are both fond of alliterations and secretly have a trucker’s mouth). I like how there are these massive, smooth white shapes. It’s both intrusive on the landscape surrounding the plant and intriguing in a sci-fi kind of way.

To celebrate one whole week of this project, I’ll add in some of the process photos as a bonus. Oooh, exciting, I know! πŸ˜‰

I started by drawing a sketch on to the 8×10″ canvas with charcoal and filling in the spaces with watercolor pencil:

Then I painted over the watercolor pencil with clear acrylic medium (this stuff) which is a lot like using a coloring book. The colors get much brighter and the pencil marks blend into each other:

Β And at the end, it was this happy thing that I think I might love. *contented sigh*

Who knew such a lovely little thing could come out of such a craptastic day?

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8 thoughts on “Day 7

    • πŸ™‚ Thanks Betty! I really like it too. So far I have been kind of ambivalent about most of the pieces, but this time I’m excited. Glad you like it! And seriously, I have learned something important about still making art on crappy days.

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  1. Rein Roxxx says:

    Me Likey πŸ™‚ You are totally right, those silos do look sci-fi now that I am thinking about it…

    Craptastic day+inspiration from a fertilizer plant= awesomeness.

    Only you could turn a sh!t factory into something completely beautiful.

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    • Haha! Thank you, queen of cool. I think I’ve determined by now that if I don’t MAKE things beautiful, I’ll completely flipping lose it. So I’m starting to see this process as how-not-to-have-a-nervous-breakdown.

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  2. bluebicicletta says:

    This is an awesome post—-don’t you just love realizations like this!? As I was trying to say in another comment I made on this blog—one of the best things I have learned in the past year or so is this lesson right here: I can make art, even when I’m in a horrible mood after a craptastic day. And often enough, I feel better after making the art. I love the combination of realism and abstraction in this piece.

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    • Thanks Nicole! I really love how clean and focuses your aesthetic is. Sometimes I feel like I’m all over the place and I’m hoping the extra time I spend making art this year will help clarify things for me. Looking at your blog and your work is very refreshing because your style is so clear. It’s like a breath of fresh air. πŸ™‚

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