i finished this painting three weeks ago, barely shipped it off, and turned around and left for europe the next day. june was nuts! …but i should warn you…before any pictures come, i have two seriously special commissions to share with you and am pumped about both.

i can say, without a doubt, that this has been my most challenging painting to date. it was one of the toughest & best commissions i’ve done, and i have gained a great deal from the process.

i received the commission from a patron in Colorado, and from the beginning, this work was set apart. rather than making specific requests regarding the compositional space, he gave complete freedom & only asked that i consider a handful of values & lessons that had critically shaped his life…some pretty incredible thoughts and values, honestly.

among lessons learned…

the importance of a life overflowing with contentment regardless of circumstance.

simple is better than complicated.

releasing kindness over others rather than hatred or fear.

risking fully & wholeheartedly & risking much :: refusing to be governed by fear.

and lastly…realizing that life is meant to be lived for others, and love to be poured out.

so…with that in mind…haha. um what? please excuse my bogged down brain for three weeks.

i will be back.

and i was. three weeks later, i began the painting and it came surprisingly quickly. i had ideas, and as i worked, it came together. but i stepped back from it a few weeks later to realize it was incredibly similar to a new painting i had recently finished and loved. it was different, and could have stood on its own, but it was done in so similar a vein, that as i stood back and looked at it, i was totally unsettled. the color palette echoed the other painting, as well as the balance of the space. and i knew in my gut, i was still clinging to a previous breakthrough, and afraid i wouldn’t be able to create something just as good—or something better—and exciting and new.

ironic, right? that this painting should exude lack of fear. and here i am totally afraid and insecure. it would figure. i hardly risked, and i had little to gain. i stayed in the same place, safe next to a prior victory.

so i went to bed. frustrated with myself. tired. afraid.

and the next morning i started over. and that was that.

i’ll be honest. to sum it up, this painting was an experience. it was. it slowly worked its way out of my control & became something all its own. and i am thankful. it is deeply a combination of contemplation & spontaneity, and every one of those lessons wove their way into my life and directly affected either my attitude or the way i moved the paint.

much thought went into the color palette & the balance of positive and negative space. the underpainting in indigo & a bright poppy red comes through the smokey yellow gray background in a quirky way. i scratched spontaneously to bring those details out. lemon yellow oil crayon plays subtly across the surface as a means of bringing one closer—something to pique your curiosity.

i mixed close to ten different shades of blue before i found the blue for this painting.

after the blue calligraphic brushwork was down, i began to pull out random details in my scratches with colored pencil, to bring interest to certain wanderings. i pulled marks over others & pushed other areas back, working throughout the composition to create a playful, exciting space.

the freedom i felt as i worked on this piece was unlike anything i’ve encountered before. as i made gestural marks, as i allowed my hand to wander, i encountered the paint in a completely new way. and in the process, came to realize: it’s a risk, the minute i touch my brush to the canvas, but it’s so worth it to let go of what i know and move past my insecurities.

crossroads I   ::   30″ x 30″  (oil on canvas)  ::  sold

love this sight.

best end to the day.