Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In the Dead of Night, A Funny Bird Appears and Is Welcomed

I've had an art show deadline hanging over my head for well over a year and until last night, I'd made no motions towards figuring out what I was going to do.  This will be the 8th show of my work out in the world since 2007 and one would think that I'd have developed some sort of process by now.  Sadly, no...There are soo many reasons:
  • Procrastination - This ever popular delay tactic is one of my worse enemies...
  • Panic - Even as I book the show in my calendar, my brain goes into full blown "Inner Critic" mode and I panic about everything but most especially, I question over and over again my ability to produce stuff worthy of being seen.
  • Age-Old Questions - Do I create work that I know will sell or do I create work that will satisfy my soul?  Coming up with a theme, technique & style that answers both questions with a resounding "Yes!" is the tricky part...
  • Time:  I am a chronic over-scheduler (many people with chronic health issues do this for some silly reason) and show stuff always gets shoved to the bottom of the to-do list...
However, the biggest reason I have for not getting my act together sooner is that since my wrist fusion surgery in 2008, I have found it really, really difficult to get out of my journal and onto canvas, both physically & mentally.  During my two-year physical therapy journey following my surgery, my journal became my ultimate art partner.  Fine motor manipulations are permanently awkward with no wrist movement and working in the intimate space of my journal is much easier than leaning over a canvas.  And most importantly, the journal makes no judgments about shaky lines or unintended blobs of paint.  That sort of stuff doesn't fly when you're adding a price tag.

So last week (on my birthday!) when I read about Dina Wakely's and Samantha Kira's August throwdown to join them for a month of getting "Out of the Journal" and onto at least two canvases a week, I decided that it was time to set the journaling aside just a little bit and allow myself space to tackle the task before me: at least 25 canvases before the end of September.  The space I'm showing in could easily hold fifty pieces if they are on the small side but that number makes me a bit queasy so I'm putting it out of my mind.

Last night I ended months of fretting and inactivity, and just simply started.  I still didn't really know what I was going to do but the act of hanging my hopes on a glimmer of an idea and seeing where it would take me was all it took.  I'm still hammering out a few of the details but I think I at least have a path opening up before me and that's a hell of a lot more than I had a few weeks ago.  I apologize for the terrible lighting in this picture; even Photoshop couldn't compensate for a middle-of-the-night photo shoot.  I finished up last night with the preparation of four more blank canvases and today I will push on this idea a little bit more in the light of day to see if it holds up.  I'll keep you posted... 


  1. I absolutely love this canvas painting Michelle. I love your journal pages but this canvas is wonderful and, yes, you should do more of them.

  2. Oh it looks really, really cool. I agree that sometimes just *starting* is the hardest part. So glad you're doing this, fab stuff!

  3. WOW, that is some striking bird, Michelle. Your show will be incredible. Donna

  4. Love. The. Bird.

    Really love the bird.

  5. One little step at the time will also bring you to where you want to be. Who says it has to be done in one go... baby steps! Go for it! Slowly!

  6. It's spectacular Michelle!! I love the flow of color and movement in the background and the delicious contrasting detail of the bird! This is super!

  7. Know just what u mean and good luck with the course at least its getting u out of that space , it is hard to push forward....

    hugz bev

  8. I love your bird! He's wonderful!


  9. Good for you! You are so right...you really just have to jump in and get started...make it happen even when your whole being seems to resist it. I love the idea of "getting out of the journal"; it can be tough to do. I think it's where I'm headed, though...the journal isn't "thrilling me" like it used to. (Now if I had a FTB journal like yours, that might be a different story...)


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking a moment to comment! If you would like a response to a specific question, you are welcome to email me directly at lostcoastpost@suddenlink.net

Thank you again for the time you've spent here. Most sincerely, Michelle

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