Where do you go next after taking an abstract workshop that profoundly touches you, how you approach painting, and what you actually paint? Stuck. That's what I was after my last post on the Abstract Intensive (see below). Could I simply return to painting watercolor landscapes, flowers, buildings - business as usual - after pouring out my heart onto an abstract canvas? No. I stopped painting after the workshop. Stuck. Should I drop my watercolor style and take up abstract painting? At a crossroads. Two roads diverged in a wood...
And I - I asked for direction. I wrote Ruth Gilmore Langs, our abstract workshop instructor, and confessed I was at a loss for what and how to paint. Ruth's reply: "Start with what you know for sure :-)." Wise advice. But what did I know - for sure?
Late that same afternoon, we were leaving a small country party store, CJ's, way out on North Territorial Road. We looked out across a frozen wheat field bordered by a row of leafless trees. And there was the most incredible sky, sunset. Stunning with its grey-blue streaks, red, orange and yellow glows silhouetting the lacy trees and grasses.
And this is what I know, have known for a very long time:
- I LOVE nature!
- There is beauty all around ready to surprise, in the little rocks on the shore, the wind in the trees and the rising and setting of the sun.
- Nature fills my heart, feeds my soul - when I look and when I listen - "my eyes of eyes open, my ears of ears awake".
- I LOVE watercolors.
- I may never be an abstract artist (but I'm not giving up just yet).
- I will look to, listen to my heart when deciding what and how to paint. The workshop unforgettably instilled, reinforced this.
So this weekend I picked up the brushes and watercolors again. Here is what my unstuck heart knows for sure: