I think the soft, flowery heart inside a prickly artichoke perfectly illustrates my feelings about Valentines Day. I love artichokes and the heart is always the best part, but you have to work to win the right to savor it. I was surprised how soft, gentle and flexible the leaves were when I peeled them off to get to the heart, compared to how tough they are when they’ve been boiled. I’m sure there’s a good analogy there about love and tenderness, but I’ll leave that to the poets.
I first tried to do this painting using a sketchbook I hadn’t tried before: Maruman Art Spiral, that has what looks like cold press watercolor paper in it. It started dissolving when I tried to lift paint or glaze more than one layer. Yuck. I wasn’t at all happy with the first try below and started over.
As I wrote in my last post, the past few weeks have been rough. When I finally got in the studio today. I began by wasting an hour trying to rescue a painting of 3 artichokes I’d started last night and finally decided it was unsalvageable. I felt uninspired, clumsy and like everything I tried to do is crap.
Then my cat jumped on the drawing table to sunbathe under my lamp. I had a brush in my hand, my gouache palette open, a sketchbook I wanted to finish and a willing model. So I did quick kittie sketches with paint, trying to get back in the flow. It helped get the juices flowing again, although my inner critic was still harping at me, telling me these were crap too.
Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but they’re bright and colorful and were fun to do, and the stupid sketchbook is filled and on the shelf.