Friday, February 26, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The War of Art

While on my latest Artist's Date at Barnes and Noble Booksellers I came across a book I've been hearing about titled The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield.  Since reading and using The Artist's Way series to try to figure out why I have such a hard time going to the studio, this other book kept popping up.  Seeing it at the book store felt like it was meant to come home with me.  Even though I really enjoy borrowing books from the library, this one in particular was one I wanted to own.  I know this kind of book is the kind that I need to go back to pages to re-read, crease the spine, pencil in notes in the margins, a well used book.

When I opened the book to skim through at the store I knew it was for me.  Same idea as in The Artist's Way, but more in the style of New York City street talk.  Tough and to the point language.  The Artist's Way is a more cerebral, ethereal, methodical, useful course, which I am totally enjoying and it's working for me.  The War of Art is plain in the sense that in way fewer words and pages, it lays it all out in straight out English.  It's a quick kick in the pants to get you in the creative mode, fast.  Boom!

The author, Steven Pressfield, has written The Legend of Bagger Vance and The Gates of Fire, among other books.  In this book he's talking about the artist having a hard time sitting down to do their art.  He calls it Resistance and his book is about the secret to overcoming it.  Resistance is what keeps us separated from our calling, whatever that happens to be.  He asks why do we have to hear the doctor say "You have six months to live" to do all the things we always wanted to do in life?  

Why "does Resistance have to cripple and disfigure our lives before we wake up to its existence?" 
"If tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business.  Prisons would stand empty.  The alcohol and tobacco industries would collapse, along with the junk food, cosmetic surgery, and infotainment businesses, not to mention pharmeceutical companies, hospitals, and the medical profession from top to bottom.  Domestic abuse would become extinct, as would addictions, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage, and dandruff."
Mind you, this is just the introduction!  This is going to be a fun read I can tell you that right now.  It's a take no prisoners, no B.S., sharp as a tack approach to the artist's block. 

Taking these two different approaches together, I think, is going to be powerful.  I'll let you know how it goes as I continue reading this.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

28 Years Ago and Everything is Fine

Twenty eight years ago today I gave birth to Son #1.  Every year that his birthday rolls around we tire him out by telling the story of that day.  Indulge me as I remember it and take some time off from whining about art.

Going merrily about my business and into my 7th month of pregnancy with Son #1, I was still working at my job as a paste-up/layout artist for a Hearst Corp. subsidiary producing technical products magazines and trade catalogs.  Yes, at that time there were such people called commercial artists.  There was a bullpen of us cranking out camera-ready pages by hand, drawing mini computer chips and the like, before we had any idea what they were.  It was a great place to work with a wonderful creative atmosphere of diverse artists.  Almost everyone got along, discussed our favorite mediums, exchanged ideas, and laughed alot.  Working there was a really good experience.  My doctor's appointment was on a Tuesday and I was wrapping up my final week at this job, expecting to ready myself for this child to come in two months.

At the appointment my doctor commented on my swollen feet.  Then she was wary about my blood pressure.  After that she remarked about my urine test.  Looking at me steadily she asked if I had a headache to which I answered, "Not at all. Why?"  She told me I had to go immediately to the hospital for bed rest, don't pass go, don't collect $100, call someone to bring me a toothbrush and pj's and have them drive me to the hospital ASAP.  "But I'm going to work today.  Can't I just go home? What's going on?"

Three days earlier I dreamed of my husband's late father, whom I had never met, but had seen in photos.  He and I were sitting at a kitchen table, his fingers knitted together on one knee crossed over the other.  He wore a black French beret on his bald head and he said to me, "Don't worry. Everything is going to be fine." At the time I had no idea what that dream meant.

It was 11:00AM, I called my mom, didn't want to drag the husband from his new business if this was going to be nothing, and we went to be admitted at the hospital.  Bed rest?  Never happened.  At the last of the many readings they took, my blood pressure reached 190/110 and the doctors said, "That's it! This kid is coming out now!"  It was 2PM and I was headed for surgery.  I was in a fog when they told me I had pre-eclampsia and I had become a pressure cooker.

Can you imagine all the craziness that was going on with my family when they found out I was hopistalized?  Who called who, when, where, what, everyone upside down with the news.  This baby was going to be a preemie with all the complications that come with that.  He weighed 4lbs. 11ozs and 20 inches long, like the size of a chicken!  His lungs were underdeveloped, he was jaundiced, and at one point he had apnea, he stopped breathing.  I was still in a medicated fog.  Family rallied around and we came through it.  After he spent five weeks in the hospital we brought that baby home!  A happy, happy day!

In the early 1980's there was a popular song, You and Me Against the World, and I used to think that was me and my son.  At that time most young mothers stayed home with their kids while their husband worked.  I always felt like we grew up together, I was younger than most people having children today.  We spent our days together.  He was my buddy, my side-kick, and my friend.  As calm a boy as he was before he was born, he was, and still is, a pleasure to be around and a generally happy kid. We could take him out to eat and not be embarrassed.  At four years old he new how to order from a menu and ate like a person.

Today our little boy is 28 years old, married two years to a wonderful girl, an artist in his own right as a self-taught musician of many various traditional Greek instruments, and we are very proud of him.  Every birthday I remember my late father-in-law's words and thank him for letting me know everything would be fine.


Happy Birthday to you, son!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nothing is Still Doing, Sort of

Beach at Dusk, close-up cropped
@2008 The Artist

I know, I know, where's the painting?  How is the bagpipe coming along?  When are you going to finish that thing already?  What's the problem, the hold up?   

Believe me, I ask myself these questions every day in the Artist's Way morning pages that I write.  The "censor" in the pages beats me up each day that I haven't been to visit the bagpipe watercolor.  I want to strangle that nasty "censor"!  She's mean and she keeps talking to me nagging.  Thank goodness for the morning pages or I'd hear her scratchy voice all day long.  I hear here right away when I awake and she doesn't stop bothering me until I write her words in my morning pages journal.  Then she gets quiet for the day.  Every day that I haven't played with that painting I hear her shooting off her mouth again.  Blah blah blah. Why this? Why that? How come? What's your problem? 

I could list all my excuses for avoiding this work, but they're all lame and you've heard it all before.  No one wants to hear someone complain.  Let's be real.  We can identify that there's a block, some negative energy floating around I'm allowing to get to me, stopping me from going there.  The trick is to get through the blocks, but when I think about it I get tired.  A couple of days ago, sorting through my stuff was helpful to move through to some creative activity.  That was good.  Being able to identify that there are blocks to begin with is a step in the right direction.  A quick artist date to the book store on Sunday was helpful just to be out in fresh air on a sunny day.  A small distraction away from the "doing".

But if I'm feeling drained and tired I'm just going to do nothing.  The Artist's Way says we creatives need time for nothing.  In fact, doing nothing is still doing.  It's just an active nothing, a spiritual nothing.  Nothing in the form of quiet, down time.  I can do nothing really well.  No knitting, no reading, no doodling, no TV, nothing.  The only something is anything repetitive like vacuuming, walking, mopping, or cooking, baking to relax the body and the mind.

Feel the feelings.  Say "yes" to the feelings and move on without guilt, judgement, or criticism. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Photo


This photo is one favorite of many Son #2 took in his photography class in a series on the beach at Long Beach, NY.  There's a weather forecast for more snow next week, but I'm going to be looking straight at this scene with blinders on. 

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thought for Thursday

"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone." ~Coco Chanel

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not Walking But Don't Tell Me Who To Be

I read the second chapter in Walking in This World, by Julia Cameron of The Artist's Way fame.  Just so you know, I still haven't started the walking, but it's been very interesting reading.  This chapter is about the personal identity of the artist.  As artists, we know we are creative and some of us get that mirroring to know how creative we are.  Most of us get that worried feeling from the people around us, that we better know what we're doing so we're not starving artists in the future.  Better to have something stable to fall back on just in case we fail.  Thanks alot.

As I read along, I came to a paragraph about friends helping to reinforce our mirror of who we are.  This resonated with me not only as an artist, but on a universal human level.  The thing about having the wrong people as our mirror is that sometimes those friends reinforce the person that they see, not who we see.  Those people want us to be something that isn't "threatening to them, that gives them a sense of their own size and importance."  They are "used to their relationship with you in a certain way." When we grow larger into ourselves to who we really are, it's scary for the other people to see it happening.  The book didn't call this competition, but I would.

The concept just shows you how people around you can be jealous of your growth and they let you know it by their actions.  When I read this paragraph things clicked in my head.  I've had this happen to me and it's happening to someone very close to me at this moment.  People are uncomfortable when you grow and change into something they didn't think you could be.  It's confusing and threatens their own existence.  Cameron writes that these friends, and they're not friends if they do this stuff, want to downsize us to what we once were before.  If we're intimidated by these "friends" we might shrink back down to a size suitable to them.  Problem is we aren't small and compact anymore. It's not going to happen and that causes friction.  Suddenly, they say we've got a swelled head.  We're too big for our own self now, to them.  They are unable and unwilling to mirror back to us who we know we've become.

Have you ever done something or learned something you think is amazing and your friend, or a family member, or even a colleague, tells you, "What are you doing that for? That's not how it is!"   How disheartening is that?  Brings you down to size, doesn't it?  But that's how people are, like a distorted fun house mirror.  You know who you are and when you face that mirror you don't recognize yourself. 

Rather than allow that distorted mirror to shape our new size back down, we need to find new mirrors, new friends who can see and recognize, and support this new being. The question is how?  Can they be fixed?  If you can't fix them, can't avoid them, can't change them, what do you do? Cut and run, or stand your ground?

All human beings are supposed to change and grow into who we are meant to be, regardless of what others want us to be.  Cameron writes that we can play small, humble and modest, but we will never be comfortable with "yesterday's definition of ourselves."  If the Universe wants us to expand and grow, why not cooperate?  Those people who resist that new identity can never stop it, and they know it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow. Again.

Try as I might, I can't keep my spirits up lately. The snow just keeps on coming down around here.  Today I had to shovel up almost three inches of the stuff.  And may I say how heavy it was?  It was really heavy and my back and shoulders ache.  So it's exercise, I get it, but it's enough already.  I am done.

I wanted to ignore the snow for a while by looking at some summery watercolor paintings from my garden flowers last summer.  At the time I had not yet read The Artist's Way and was really bad at letting the household chores rule my free time.  Now that I know better, the housework was my way of blocking myself off from art, subconciously.  After doing the course I can identify my actions and try to veer towards ways of overcoming those blocks.  Now I have tools! 

The snow is my block right now.  I know I'm letting the weather block me from the studio.  All I want to do is sit and look out the window at the snow, snuggled up on my comfy little sofa with a cup of hot coffee and a lap blanket.  What studio?  What art?  Huh?  Oh, that.  Maybe later.  Maybe not. 


Those summer watercolors gave me a breath of fresh air, the feeling of stretching out and a moment to warm up and relax.  By looking over the paintings I took myself to that time of hot weather and sunshine, far from this dreary misery that is this year's cold and snowy winter.

I remember that day well, when I walked through my house on the way to the kitchen.  Catching a glimpse out the living room windows, I noticed the really tall pink echinachea moving in the breeze along with the black-eyed Susans and the red daylilies.  Something said, "Come on outside and sit here" and I dropped everything and did just that.  The travel watercolor set was available and so was the block of paper.  I had the time and the motivation, and I vowed not to waste it.


Sitting on a chair in the garden, eye-level to the flowers made it seem like I was all alone in the world.  I sketched the scene quickly in pencil and then went straight to color.  Mindlessly, I worked purely from instinct, not thinking of which color to use next, just doing it.  I imagined this might be how Monet felt painting his garden pond and bridge in Giverney, France.  I painted the way the light fell on the petals and surfaces at the afternoon hour and the color of the deep darks in the shadows.  It felt wonderful to lose myself in that moment.

I wish I could figure out how to get myself in that moment right now.  Snow is not my friend.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Negativity and Non-productivity

All this snow and the cold weather is wearing me down.  Not to mention the dopey things people do, how they act, and that I have a reaction to it all is just annoying.  The jealousy of other people and the hate that comes with it is tiring. What's wrong with people?  It wears away my motivation to work on anything and there's alot of stalled works in progress at the moment.  I'm busy thinking what I'm going to say to these people when I see them later this week.  If I could focus on my jown stuff and not on this junk it would be wonderful.  At least the energy it takes to react to negativity could be channeled in a positive way.  But no.  Now I'm stuck.  Again.



Rather than work at doing, I decided to take inventory.  Taking stock was a good distraction.  I took a look at the bead jewelry I've already made, lined them up to evaluate what worked and what didn't.  The newest order of semi-precious stones arrived a couple of days ago and I sorted through them.  Ideas came to me as to what I want to make with the agate stones.  Blue, purple and pink agate free form stones are really stunning all strung together.  I put them away in an organized manner.

After the stones I looked through my knitting patterns and books. There were patterns I know I'm not going to use so they went out.  Yarn for all kinds of projects were sorted through as well as my needle collection.  I separated the heavier yarns from the sock yarns, the double pointed needles from the straights, and the connected kind for large projects. 


While sifting through the patterns I noticed a pattern some knit bloggers were working on.  It's a dainty knitted doily from the 1940's I guess, but a blogger knit it in heavy yarn on circular needles as a lap blanket or a throw.  I rummaged through my yarn stash and found enough yarn to try it out along with the right needles.  This pattern is worked from a chart part of the way and I'd never used a chart before.  So I casted on and kept going.  I'll see how far I go until I get crazy.  So far, so good.

It just goes to show that a little cleaning up can reap some rewards.  I needed the distraction to help me get out of my head for a while. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thought for Thursday

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."  ~Thomas Edison, inventor

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day and an Artist's Date

 

Last week the forecasters were predicting a snowstorm that never happened.  You know how everyone hears the words "winter storm warning in effect" and they run to buy milk and bread?  What's with that?  Is everyone working with an empty refrigerator, or at the slightest idea of some snow they need to stock up with a month's load of food?  Please people!

The weather guys were correct with their snow predictions this time.  As usual, I'm fine in the food department. They're expecting blizzard conditions this afternoon, but so far there was only three inches on the ground by 8AM.  Thankfully, I have no where to be but at home and that's where I'm staying!  

 

Mostly I like being home alone, but being snowed in is even better.  There's no way you can go anywhere, no idea of going out except to shovel, and it's a freeing feeling. I have big plans for my day in! First another pot of hot coffee. Then, I may bake some muffins from a new recipe I found. Later I might put on a Bach CD I bought a little while ago and draw with some pastels. If there's more snow I'll take more photos of it.

The possibilities are endless and exciting!  Definitely an Artist's Date kind of day.  Isn't funny that I'm so excited to be snowed in I have all these ideas of things I can do?  I should be like this every day, thinking which art thing to do first. We humans are weird people. And we artists? Ok, I won't say it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Balking and Bagpipe, I'll Just Go With It

I'm writing this post after having a most unsatisfactory morning.  I'll elaborate some.  Since it's my job to take care of all the household chores, shopping, and meals, (I'm the artist who works at home) I consider it also my job to be concerned with the health of the people who live here.  Everyone in every family has certain needs that have to be met and it falls on the person doing the house stuff to handle it, right?  I think so.  If someone here catches a cold I make the chicken soup.  If someone needs more fiber in their diet, I work that out.  I do my best. 

Now, the hard part is when one family member balks at what I'm offering, and since I am the person with whom the responsibility lies, I am offended by said balking.  Catch my drift?  Look, we're not talking babies here, we're all adults. But from the reaction of one individual I could swear I saw a tantrum happening when I brought out the oatbran cereal rather than a bagel slathered with butter and jelly. Whatever.

As that person went on his way after getting his way, I vented in my morning pages and could have written a fourth page.  Thank goodness for morning pages!  After I was finished I came to start my day by reading emails and to write this post.  I brought a nice hot cup of coffee with me to enjoy, which I promptly knocked over and dumped on the desk and in my lap! Great day ahead, I'll say.

 The bagpipe painting flat on the desk and wet

Having said all that and gotten it off my chest, let me share how the bagpipe painting is coming along.  I decided to go for 15 minutes again, ignoring the non-working overhead lamp, and working on the dark background.  I don't like to use a tube of black paint because it's too flat and has no depth. 

It's easy enough to mix a black with undertones of other colors.  I'm still using the MaimieriBlu watercolors, but they don't offer an Alizarin Crimson which I tend to rely on for some reason.  They have some other color that's similar, but not as deep, so I went for that and mixed with Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber.  Nice and deep black.  I used a large brush full of paint and applied it behind the figure. 

After it dried a little bit I went back in with straight color mixing somewhat with the paint already down.  As I've said before, my training in watercolor is minimal so I'm making it up as I go along.  maybe it's not how the medium is supposed to be used, but that's the beauty of art and the process.  You do what works and make it new and interesting.

The dry bagpipe painting upright on the easel

Later on I'm going to address that white area on the left hand side.  When I printed this frame I thought it was an all black background.  But looking closely I found that area was where the photo frame ended so I drew it in to break up the space.  It's part of the composition mirroring the large area on the right and I'll answer that question with color.  I naturally break up spaces this way in my work.  Something inherent in my brain makes me think in shapes.  I'll go with it as usual.

Yeah, I'll just go with it.  Not like some other people who balk.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sunday and the Morning Pages


Still working at the Morning Pages from The Artist's Way thing, except the book is Walking in This World, like I said before.  Same idea, same theory, mix in some walking, stir, bake.  Guess what?  I'm not walking yet. The walking is going to take time to start and become a habit. Surprised?  Ahem.

I've got the journaling down really well.  I can't get on with my day unless I've written  three pages worth.  Writing has become a habit I'm unwilling to break.  I get all comfortable after my morning routine and everyone's gone, and write whatever comes into my head. 

Then Sunday rolls around.  Now there's a problem.  Sunday everyone's off, meaning the people in my house are home at the same time.  Ok, fine, Son #2 is in dreamland and doesn't show up until later.  That leaves the Mr.  Since both of us are early rising morning people, we're usually awake at the same time, about 6AM-ish.  Try as I might, I can't wake myself up much earlier than the Mr. so I'm unable to be alone weekdays until after he leaves for work.  On Sunday I'd like to sleep a little later, but 7AM is as late as it gets.  The Mr. is awake and looking for coffee, breakfast, TV, all action. 

When that's all done I'm ready to write.  The Mr. comes in the kitchen for more coffee and eyeballs me.  I eyeball back.  Yes?  Well, he's a nosey sneak, all in my business!  And yes, it's my business!  So the question is: how to hide the morning pages writing from the snoop.  I took a sip of my coffee and thought about it.

The answer was to get up, take my stuff, and very non-chalantly walk out of the kitchen, past the living room where the Mr. has taken up space, and go to the studio!  Brilliant, right?  Good idea until I went to the studio.  The fickle light would not go on, my desk was cluttered with painting stuff, and the table and chairs was too dark from no light in the room.  Lovely. 

I made some room at the desk for my notebook and coffee cup to write.  I was all alone, the coffee was still hot and I was surrounded by stuff I like.  Great!  The downside was that I became distracted by my painting in progress.  Instead of writing the morning pages I wanted to paint.  Rather than writing down my brain junk I was thinking where to go with the work.  Had the light worked I would've sat in a different area without the distractions.  It felt like I was doing the 15 minutes of art at my desk. 

I persevered and the pages were written.  Since I had ideas in my head about the painting while there, I went ahead and followed through on them.  So what's the problem with painting a little more shadow where I thought it should go right at that moment?  My brain answered, Nothing.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thought for Thursday

"When inspiration calls you. Pick up the phone. You give it directions how to get to your house. You don't mess around. "  ~ Will.i.am

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

15 Minute Studio Time Really Works

The fifteen minutes in the studio thing is working really well for me.  Yesterday I had a day where I did alot of running around.  I didn't think I would go to the studio to do anything.  I'm annoyed at the light in the room because it's fooling with me.  One day it will very nicely go on and be lit the whole time I'm there, the next it will light up for me then rudely turn itself off as if to tell me to get lost.  The day I decide to call  the electrician it's on all day long.  I think it likes to play games with me.  It's getting old.

Anyway, when I finally came home in the afternoon I didn't feel like painting.  I checked email, the blog, my facebook page, the etsy shop, opened snail mail, decided on dinner, everything but go to the studio.  After I threw all these road blocks in my way, I decided to sit at the desk and look at this bagpipe painting for only 15 minutes.  If I could just look at it maybe I would have thoughts about where I want to go the next time I paint.

So I took my inner child artist brat to the studio and sat at the desk like an adult.  Light bulbs were flashing in my mind, how would this look, maybe that color there, how can I make the light pop.  Low and behold, I was painting.  It's a blur when I filled the pans with water and dipped the brush to apply paint.  When I looked up at the clock, two hours had passed by and if I didn't get moving there'd be no dinner that night!

I had just enough time to step back and look at my work, photograph it too.  The first one is where I left it to dry on my desk.  I'm not used to painting on a desk as I always painted oils on an easel.  It's a little weird to me, but if you paint watercolor upright the drips are unmanageable, unless you really want drips.  The second photo is the work on my easel after it dried some.  It's on the easel so when I go into the room I can see it better.  When I see my work I'm surprised how it looks hour to hour, day to day.  Is that weird?

Well, today is another day.  Let's see how it goes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On to Walking in This World


Since I finished reading The Artist's Way I decided to take the next steps in the series.  In the first book the author Julia Cameron, suggests taking a mind clearing walk every day.  I didn't get there.  I was able to take a walk a couple of times in the fall and really enjoyed being outside in that kind of weather, taking in the autumn flowers, leaves and fresh air.  But after that the weather turned colder and I didn't have the urge to go outside.

As a push to continue the creativity quest, I ordered and received two more books, Walking in This World and The Vein of Gold.  I read the first chapter of the first, I'm leaving the latter for afterwards.  The ideas are the same:  Morning Pages every day for 3 pages in long hand, a weekly Artist Date and daily mini date, and a weekly long walk.  Ok, well, we'll see how that goes. 

I've been very consistent with Morning Pages. I write very early in a marble notebook with a MontBlanc pen/pencil set my father gave me so many years ago I can't remember.  Using that pen elevates the writing time to an event.  I eat, read my news, have more coffee, zip open the pen set and get to writing.

The pages have become my conversation with the Universe, the emptying out of stupid stuff in my head. Sometimes I've said it all in the Morning Pages and I have nothing left for this blog!  It's good because I can get to the art quickly rather than ruminate on it.  The Artist Date has become small pockets of fun time instead of all day, full blown dates.  I went to the art supply store, the yarn shop, poked around a thrift shop, doodled in my sketch pad, just little fun things. 

Walking outside and walking on a treadmill are two totally different experiences.  When I walked my treadmill I had a large travel calendar in front of me for a distraction.  I  imagined myself in another country on vacation, but then I would be sad I wasn't really on vacation.  And the idea of gerbils running on a wheel came into my head one day and I was turned off.  When you walk outdoors you can see other people, different houses and gardens, stores, alive stuff. 

Now it's time to do the walking part of this course, but it's still freezing outside! I'm going to have to figure this one out. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Taking my Time with the Bagpipe


With the idea of spending just 15 minutes in the studio I've been able to work on this newest painting of my son and his Greek bagpipe.  Fifteen minutes turned into a couple of hours, so I guess it's something to keep up doing.

I'm trying to go slow on this work too since my tendency is to throw paint around and then I've gone too far.  In that respect, using watercolor as my medium is discipline.  I think to myself:  Take your time, don't rush, don't be impulsive with the colors.  I like to just go with my gut on the color choice, letting my instincts take over.  Choose first, think later and I end up sorry sometimes.  I guess it depends on my mood.  As with the first cherry blossoms painting I'm thinking more before I act.

A plus about blogging on my painting is the work-in-progress photo.  After taking a photo I can see, somewhat easier, where I need to go .  The photo flattens things out.  It's like taking that step back from the easel and squinting at my work.  The camera helps me squint and blur the edges, colors and composition to see where I'm going.  While I'm painting I could make huge application mistakes that could cost me the whole shebang.  Then it's dumpster time!   Sometimes things are not fixable.  I'd like to avoid that and keep an upbeat attitude, if I can help it.

Taking it slow, chosing and applying the paint, stopping to photograph the work, and stopping altogether is keeping this baby alive.  I can already see some things I might have done better, but I'm painting.  I'm in the process.  Whatever the outcome, I did it and if I need to, I'll move on.  It's all good.