The Thrill Was Gone

I've been working from my temporary digs now for nearly two months. The restoration of my studio is nearing completion and I should be returning there around the first of March. Though I am thankful to have a space to work, I feel like I cannot tailor it to truly accommodate my work and thus have approached my painting rather half-heartedly. I recently realized my lackadaisical efforts were not only affecting my output, but the whole process of creating art had become a real drag- I wasn’t excited at all about my work. When this happens, the languor becomes evident in the work and the quality suffers. I knew I needed do something to bring the joy back into my art.

Nearly two weeks ago, I was putting together a proposal for a very ambitious project. I was motivated more than ever to make the best possible impression I could for it, as I felt I had a very good idea and didn’t want to squander an opportunity with a subpar presentation. I took some time to consider the best approach to render it conceptually, in order to strike a good impression on the review committee. In the past, I had done this through watercolors, but my presentation was rather informal and hurried. Though I believed watercolor would still provide the best medium for my delivery, I needed to do something other than a cartoon on passable watercolor-block paper. After some research and my own exploration at the art store, I arrived at the studio with several 300 lb. hard-pressed watercolor sheets- each measuring the standard 30” x 22” size. The superior quality and larger scale of these materials alone sent surges of excitement through my long-dormant veins.

By simply finding a different medium, taking the time to slow up and enjoy the process, I was able to create the best presentation I have ever conceived. I also was able to bring a new perspective and some long-absent excitement back into painting- particularly watercolor. Now, I am working on a new project that requires me to work in watercolor as well, so I am continuing with that medium. I believe when I return to my studio in March, this experience will bode well for my return back into oil painting.