This is the first painting I’ve started and completed after my workshop with M.E. (Mike) Bailey at Kanuga this month. It has stirred up a lot for me.
I’m not sure it’s the start of a series in the way Mike hoped we would work for a while. But I learned a whole lot just doing it and thinking about it as I did it, and thinking about how I felt about it when it was done.
I had decided that if I DID do a series, I’d cheat and work with the morning glory images I’ve already used twice recently, before the workshop. Both paintings abstracted the leaves into shape and patterns, so I thought I’d be able to let go of the ‘pretty picture’ and work on the design. Having recently heard the song Something Wonderful, from The King and I, I chose regretful as a mood or emotion to portray, and settled down to use the seven elements of design (see earlier posts – I won’t shout them at you now) to support that mood.
As I worked through a plan, including maybe a dozen value sketches, the theme of regret (and those heartbreaking lyrics: “ he has a thousand dreams that won’t come true”) kept nudging me, until I realized that, all unintended, I had a meaning, and content too (I wasn’t PLANNING on tackling that until June when I take a Marilynn Derwenskus workshop). What brought it together was hearing the song. Aren’t unrealized dreams one of the hardest things to accept? This painting is for my mother, Margaret, who died fourteen years ago, with a bucketful of dreams that never did come true. I like to think that a few of them did – those are the blossoms that are still full of color. The others have withered and sunk back into forgetfulness.
But already, this is just the Last Painting, and I am already embarked on the Next Painting. And very excited about it. It’s a whole ‘nother animal altogether. No peeks just yet, give me a couple of days to succeed or fail, and to think some more about what this newer idea means to me and my art. I think it’s a very good thing, though. . . . more later.