Painting Who and What I See…On to The Canvas

It’s been really fun to paint more and more as I develop a routine of getting to the easel whenever it’s possible. I get distracted by the normal tasks of life. Grocery shopping, laundry, walking the dog. It all takes me away from the act of making art….I know…I’ve got a pretty cushy life. What would life be without those little everyday necessities? There would be no milk for my tea when I needed it and no clean underwear in my dresser drawer.

Sometimes I do fear the white canvas and get stuck but not very often. I think it’s the way I approach most canvases that helps me out in this regard. I don’t usually expect anything specific from a canvas. Most of the time I have no idea who or what will show up when I begin a painting. I’m still exploring my own personal style so I’m really open to whatever shows up. After all, I can paint over my work if I’m not feeling it and start again.

I begin by using a piece of charcoal or a pencil or even some paint on a brush. I just start making marks and swirling around with whatever is in my hand. Then I pour out a bunch of colours onto my palate at random. The colour combinations always seem to work out without my conscious input. I put some colour here and there. I wait for something to pop out. That’s when I start to see them. The people who I am guessing have been patiently waiting in my head to come out and get onto the canvas.

I never know who they will be or what they will look like. Sometimes they shock me. And then I grow to love them. I don’t care if they are ugly or if they look like they have taken a hit of acid. Once the work is done, I love them all. No judgement. They are mine and now they are here in my world and on my plane of existence. Now what to do with them? I keep painting and I am now running out of wall space! I have an Etsy shop and I have the work listed on Ebay as well. I know my work is not everyones cup of tea. I am still searching for my Tribe as I mentioned in an earlier post. It doesn’t help that I live on an Island 90 miles south of Cuba in the middle of the ocean all by itself…well there are two sister islands.

The Cayman Islands is a beautiful paradise but there are challenges living in such a country. The shopping is pretty limited. There is no dedicated Art Supply store. There isn’t a Michaels or a Hobby Lobby. There isn’t a Walmart. There isn’t even a chain style Drug Store. We just got a Starbucks a couple of months ago. There is a limited art market here. People are looking for art that reflects the Islands and the Caribbean. They want paintings of fish and turtles. Iguanas and the beach are popular too. Palm trees blowing in the wind…you get my drift. They are not looking for a painting of people who look like they are on a funhouse ride who have smoked something funny beforehand. I’ve tried to be normal and all of that work has ended up being painted over or I’ve tossed it in the dumpster. I can’t do normal. Heavy Sigh.

What I’m trying to say is that everything is limited here in comparison to the mainland except for an overabundance of sea and sand. It is paradise but the likelihood of me finding my Tribe here on this island is small. If I were in New York City or Austin or L.A. or even my home turf of Toronto I would have much better odds. I’m not sure how I will be able to tackle this problem. I’m just gonna keep working and keep painting. Painting the people who show up in living colour on my canvas and make me smile. This piece is called “Dreadlocks”. I guess my recent trip to an art workshop where the owner is adorned in this hairstyle…well not quite this one…influenced me. I’m putting the Dread in “Dreadlocks”.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

“Dreadlocks” 16×20 inches Acrylic Paint on Canvas Board

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