Last September I painted this picture as part of the Art Retreat class I took in Orvieto, Italy. I had one of the most patient teachers in the world, TracieLynn Huskamp. She was so encouraging as I stretched myself beyond belief. To say I was a nervous wreck is putting it mildly.
First we went on a photo shoot throughout Orvieto, I was drawn to the flowers in the flower shop, they were fantastic. Then we picked out the photos that we liked and they were printed so we could race them on muslin and then paint them. When I first painted the picture above I absolutely hated. I could not get the shading right. Infact, I just could not comprehend the concept of shading at all. Internally I wanted to quit, but I just couldn't. I had to stretch beyond my comfort zone.
I look at the painting now and cannot believe I actually did it. I am so happy that I did not give up, that I listened to Tracie and embraced the work. I have grown so much in the past year. I have continued to take classes and try new things. I am stretching in ways I cannot imagine.
I have made books with multiple signatures, I have finally learned how to draw zentangles. Faces, forget about it......I am getting more comfortable with each portrait.
Face Drawn for Radical Wellness Class
What does stretching yourself mean? For me it means attempting to do things that either I have never done before or have been afraid to attempt. Over the past couple of days, I have given this a lot of thought. A friend named Monica encouraged me to just be me. Spend time doing what I love to do, not as a job or work, but as a time to give peace to myself and just be. It really feels good to take her advice. Orly Avineri, one of my favorite painters and bloggers gave this concept in the last class I had with her: :Create, do not Produce." These words mean so much. Creativity should not be a production line, rather, for me it must be a time of discovery, allowing myself to be imperfect and love it.
Stretching myself has given me peace and joy. When was the last time you stretched yourself dear reader? Tell me about it.