BIG picture POV

I used to paint in a small room.  I would sit on an apple box, often up close to the canvas.  The most distance I would have between canvas and me was about 6′ if I leaned back on the counter behind me.
I loved my space.  It was mine. It was messy, warm and my husband installed great speakers so that I could fill the room with sound and sing along sometimes.I never had to clean it up.  I just would walk away, shut the door.  I could get lost in there.Me, the paint and the canvas.

However, sometimes I’d be too close.  There were times when I needed to stand back a little. Take a look from a different view or angle.  I paint in oil so moving wet pieces out into the rest of the house is not an option.

I’d take a photo.   It was an instant snapshot of my work.  As soon as I’d see the image on the small lcd screen, I’d see it differently.  It was simplified.  I could see the lights, the darks and the big shapes, the overall if you will.

adding colour
adding colour
My life is like this.  My lists of to do’s, commitments, busyness are all good, meaningful, rewarding, and often fun.  BUT, I can overwork it, get stuck in just one area, get tight, and forget about the whole.How to take a snapshot of my life?My Strategies – meditation, planning, day dreaming (yup), tapping into how I’m actually feeling (crazy, I know), spending the time to make timelines, going outside, trying something completely new, getting on my mat –

Then I can get back down into the process, open the door to my messy space and relax in the moment to moment, in the creation….

AND the most effective tool I’ve got, using GRATITUDE as my wide angle lens.

I know paint in a large studio and still take photos of my work – I swear that gratitude creates a big picture pov on life and is responsible for the bigger studio space and the opportunities to continue to share my passions.


“It’s all just an underpainting until it is done.”  Marlene Lowden

Work in Progress


This is a 60” x 60” blank canvas, or it was.
Questions.  How do I start?  Do I have an idea in my head, an image?
This canvas had no direction, no inspiration, no ideas.  I just started.  I needed to do.  In this case I pick up some payne’s gray and some orange and began working with big brushes and big movements.  I needed to paint because it had been awhile, I’m sure you can relate if there is something in your life that you love doing but it happens sporadically.  My husband has caught onto the effect that a blank canvas has on my psyche, therefore he doesn’t mind wandering the isles at Opus, he encourages it.Back to painting.Imperfect action is something I strive for when I paint.  Really, I do.  I want to capture energy, freedom, pure expression and that requires letting go.  I switch my brushes every few minutes, I mix my own colours quickly, often on the wet canvas, I paint with my left hand, purposely going the opposite direction that I’ve been working.  In the beginning stages, I flip the canvas around working from a different point of view.  I flick paint, splatter (everything), and love drips.   I do the happy dance over freakedly awesome “mistakes.”  I’ve even closed my eyes when I’ve felt stuck.
My resistance to painting comes when I know I have a time constraint.  And when I’m in the “zone” it is painful to leave early.  When I’m “there” it is freedom, it is timeless, it is joy, contentment, it is childlike, it is addicting.  Is that bad?  Not sure.  It certainly is not perfection, getting it right, being on target, controlled, or disciplined.  I react to what is there, I respond to what I see and not what I think I see or wanted to see in the first place.  I continue to work like this as much as possible – allowing the painting to unfold, ideas begin to generate about what colour to add or take away, what shapes are working for me and which ones are not.

Playful. Fearless. Freedom.Imperfect action.

So I’ll practice.  I’ll paint more, I’ll pick up the pen, return the call, press send, share how I feel, unroll my mat, walk out the front door, dance, make a multitude of mistakes, be vulnerable and share my work in progress with you.



“It’s all just an underpainting until it is done.”Marlene Lowden