Sunday, January 27, 2013

Soft Flattery



Soft Flattery
January 20, 2013
8" x 10"
Oil on Canvas Board
For Sale (Contact Daphne artist@daphnecote.com)
 
 
   In November I was on a roll with a balanced painting schedule. I was afraid that in the New Year I might lose the routine and momentum I had going. Me and my silly fears. I decided to shut that voice off in my head that was questioning my ability of being a successful artist. I am quite sure everyone comes into contact with that ridiculous voice that can be so persistent and if not confronted promptly, can often make us doubt our selves for no rational reason. We are amazing creatures. If we put our heart and souls into positive things that we are naturally drawn to we can do things that even amaze ourselves.
   What I find amazing with the portrait above is that it only took me a couple of hours to do. I did this painting as an exercise. I went looking through reference material from adverts and found this one. I was interested to see if I could create the emotional sense that it conveyed. The woman isn't quite blushing but it is like she was just told she had done something extraordinary. Everyone needs to be told how amazing they are every once in a while. Even if it is just for the small things they do. It is often those small things you don't think twice about that are the most important.
   I appreciate the simplicity of truly genuine smiles that I encounter that can change my whole day around. For instance: I am disturbed by the amount of time I spend, on a regular basis, in the grocery store. I am definitely a cave woman gatherer at heart that loves to cook for my loved ones, but sometimes it can make me want to scream. When I have no food in the house, a time limit, during a busy grocery shopping traffic hour, with kids that would rather be playing on a playground and no amount of bribes of bakery cookies could change their energy level as they scale and hide in the toilet paper isle in the hopes of building forts out of it's contents, while wheeling a cart so loaded and heavy which constantly reminds me of all the work I still have to do with packing it all up and carrying it just to go home and unpack it all again. Then when I am close to throwing in the towel and one upping the kids by throwing myself on the floor kicking and screaming "I don't WANNA!" I pass a complete stranger that smiles a true genuine from the heart smile. They are not annoyed but amused and enjoying the catastrophe that's rolling by. They see the precious beauty in the life I'm leading no matter how messy with my paint clothes and kids smothered in some unrecognizable goop. Their smile is contagious which makes me stop and smile and see how fleetingly wonderful this haphazard moment is an how fortunate I am to be able to experience it. It makes me want to take a moment and close my eyes and just feel all the warmth and loving energy that is surrounding me no matter how loud, fast, and calamitous it all is, I am fortunate. It took that honest smile to make me see the beauty in it all.
   So now how do I translate feelings like those visually? Well this is a small exercise to test and push my skills to see if I can do it. Sometimes the exercises are larger, longer, and mapped out; and some are quick little tests. All are valid, significant, and needed to succeed. That is why I do what I do. I can always get better and there is always something new to learn.
 

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