Monday, April 22, 2013

A Thousand Dreams

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.


  1. I love how the inspiration for your next series came together for you, generated by that song. I'll have to listen to the movie again now! Your work is really beautiful, and I'm interested to read what you have to say about the elements of design below. I really like "Momentary Revelation"! That piece is so stunning! Wow!

    1. Katherine, your comment means a lot to me, having seen the beautiful work that you do. Thanks so much. I'm still trying to create a "sister" painting for Momentary Revelation, it actually SOLD last fall, and the space on my wall just isn't the same without it.

  2. I really think this painting is good. I can see how you applied the elements of design. I am starting a series also, from a still life. I also stretched some paper as Mike suggested. Not only that, but I am beginning to study color with the Quiller DVD! I'll be reporting on all this in my blog soon.