Did You Lose Something?


Under painting by Kevin Cameron (Second Cup)

You’ve started your painting and things are going “in the flow”.  You’re just at the initial stages- maybe the under-painting. Perhaps you’re focusing on value and composition or maybe it’s colour and/or sort of abstract.

Everything seems to be going great. Sometimes, however, there is  that period of staring at a blank canvas that feels longer than a Hobbit’s journey. But let’s assume you’re past that and you are fully in the moment and the painting (both noun and verb) is coming along nicely.

Then you have to stop.  For whatever reason. Maybe it’s to get a snack, maybe just some sleep. You return and something’s gone. It’s not your easel, brush or laptop . It’s that other important intangible thing-inspiration. Uh Oh! The muse has left!

It was like meeting someone for the first time serendipitously at a nearby cafe. The conversation has a promising glow. You turn to get your coffee and they are gone. You hardly had time to memorize their smile.

The Inspired Painting that Isn’t

At this point …you have before you… an expression of your passion but part of your mind is saying, “This isn’t complete. I can’t hang this. I can’t sell this and probably couldn’t give it away.  This is when our motives become challenged.  Do you push ahead and lay down coats of paint that seem to be only burying the life you had underneath?

This is a tough question. How do you resolve it? ( I’m not being rhetorical).  How do you resolve it?

Perhaps we could look at our options and motives. What do you want to capture this time?  Stay where you are and you’ve captured some primitive, emotive expression. Continue and it changes like a baby to a child and like a child to an adult.

I guess every stage is good. After all , who’s to say, if you proceed the creative work might actually get better. It’s all a matter of opinion since art is about emotion and communicating it to others. You can put down that canvas ( or musical composition, poetry ,whatever) and stop where you are.  Sometimes this is what must happen.  Other times you will paint right over it and something new is born once again!

You turn for your coffee.  A new friend is there and this time…they stay. :^)


The Planets- Suspended


   The back story to this painting  involves a walk in the local apple orchard last autumn. There were lots of apples still hanging on long after the the leaves had curled and lost the living green tones of a warmer season. A few clicks of my camera would preserve the details for later reference.  I knew there was something here to paint although my first attempt was unfruitful.


After trying to just paint the picture as I saw it in the photo I was really dissappointed. Nothing seemed right.  The grass in the background was being put on with vertical strokes and seemed to be taking away from the main subject(s).  After  I think was several weeks to a couple months I started seeing the whole thing in a new light.  The fruit suspended from the trees seemed to dance almost independently of the twigs and branches that supported them. So just like staring at one of those hidden- image- pixel-like pictures that eventually reveal another truer subject *behind* it I began to see the apples as planets in an orchard of life.
In outer space up-and-down, north-and-south don’t have to have the same meaning as it does here on ground.  So the moon and nightscape was painted as an almost separate scene yet connected by the theme.  In other words you can turn the painting upside down if you like.  This painting is going in with my Space Seed collection of which there are two other paintings to date: here and here

Thanks for dropping in (like an apple) and see ya ’round like a….planet?