A couple of months back, I began working on something that kind of got side tracked.
We all have projects like that. We start out like a ball of fire and then something gets in the way and deadlines come up and holidays come and before we know it, our project is tucked neatly (or sometimes not so neatly) into a corner.
While I know that there are some people who won’t start another project until one is finished, I am not like that. I usually have a couple of things on the go at once. My friend Cari’s dad used to say that we were both like fighter pilots. We could do six things at once. I suppose part of it is having small children and still being curious and creative and filling each day with as much as we could cram into it.
I am still like that.
Even though the kids are grown and on their own, it only means that I can allow myself to do more things. With huge amounts of opportunities available – even more so with the internet and online classes – I find that sleeping should be an option so that I can have more hours in the day to create.
In any case, back in November I began a painting project that was quite an undertaking. When I visited my kids in Chicago in October, I had also visited one of my favorite places – Brookfield Zoo. And at the zoo, I was able to see the new young snow leopard that was born over the summer (Everett) and his mom. I love Brookfield Zoo because the way it is set up you are able to see the animals very close. Especially the snow leopards which are my favorite of all the big cats. They love to sleep on a rock shelf right up against the glass wall so they are actually within a foot of you. It is amazing to be that close to them.
I was able to snap a nice photo of them, and when I got home, I decided to make a painting of it. I had recently received my set of DecoArt Traditions paint from Art Apprentice Online (a wonderful online learning community for painters) and I was waiting for the perfect project to try them out.
Tackling a painting such as this is quite intimidating. While I have several of my own original paintings that I have done over the years, it has been quite a long time (many years) since I have had the time or ambition to create another one. (You can see my other original artwork on my Gallery page of my site)
However, with me keeping as busy as I do, I find it very difficult to make time to do this type of painting. Many ask me if I offer patterns for these paintings, but they are far too complicated for me to ever sort through and make instructions for them. Truth be told, when painting them, I very much “wing it” and there are many times – as with this painting – that I wind up completely painting over portions and changing things. It is something that I do for myself to grow personally as an artist and a designer, and while I sometimes make note cards and prints to sell from these pieces, I keep the original paintings for myself, or give them to friends and family.
So with that said, below is a photo of the finished painting:
I am very happy with the outcome, although – me being me I still want to pick away at it. It is funny, but once I had it on the computer screen, I see different things that I want to refine and I feel as if I could keep painting on it forever. Is anything really “done”???
I am going to set up an album for the step-by-steps, as there are many photos which show the process that my painting followers may be interested in seeing.
It isn’t perfect, but it is nice and I am proud of it. I need to let go and move on to other things.
Sometimes I think being side tracked and stepping away from a project for a while can be a good thing. I think by me leaving it for these few months and then coming back to it, I was able to look at it more objectively and see it with new eyes. I am sure when I look at it months from now, I will be thinking of other refinements that I can do to it. But I will refrain from that. There comes a point when we need to call our work “finished.”
Easier said than done.
Thank you to all my friends for your encouragement on this and all of my work. Your kind words motivate me to always do my best and try to improve. I think this bleeds into all the creative areas of my life. I appreciate you all.
Have a wonderful Monday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"