Flashback Friday- Cherry Blossoms and Finding Your Voice

Central Park Cherry Blossoms

Central Park Cherry Blossoms

I remember so clearly painting the above piece. I painted it in April of 2006. I had spent the afternoon at the Met with one of my mentors Frank O'Cain. After the museum walk we all headed out to Central Park and down to the Cherry Blossoms to sketch, paint, record in whatever way we saw fit...

I was busy chatting and not really paying too close attention to what I was doing. I was looking at the trees and tuning in to the experience vs thinking about what I was actually putting down on the page. I ended up doing several small studies, all about 3" x 5". The one I painted the piece up above from was and will always be one of my favorite watercolors (If I can find it I will post it later...) 

I think the little sketch was and is one of my favorites because it was a rare moment where I got out of my own way. I stopped over thinking. I just let things happen in a way that brought me delight. Who cared if I screwed up a little scrap of watercolor paper right.  

I wen home and sketched this painting and worked on it almost immediately. It was completed in no more than the afternoon. I was working so intently. I was speaking through paint so clearly. In this little moment I had found my voice. 

At the time I was still attending the art students league and I knew the show for Frank's class was coming up. Deciding to have some fun with the piece and the process I placed a big red dot in the upper corner. Power of suggestion as well as necessary visual interrupt. 

You see, every class show there are red dots awarded and blue dots awarded- kind of like first and second prize... 

The red dot did work visually. It did not work through power of suggestion. In the end I got the blue dot which was nice validation. It still hangs on the back of this piece which is still wired using a piece of string and two screw eyes because I didn't have my framing materials the morning I needed to take it over. 

Now when I look at this piece it really does bring me immediately back to myself. I remember my commitment. I tune in to my need for pattern and rhythm. I honor my love of bright color on canvas. I remember my voice and sometimes I even start to listen to it.