a project about the moments that pass quickly.
When my daughter was 18 months old, I started to become obsessed with skies. I realized that maybe it was because they were so fleeting. Ten minutes pass and it looks nothing like it did. Each view is beautiful. It was so similar to how little kids are- I blinked and my 6# baby was running, talking, and turning on the tv (🙄).
Then my son was born a few weeks later.
When he was about 2 weeks old, I decided to start a project.
Paint the sky outside. 5”x7”. 20 minutes. No cheating. When 20 min were up, paint brushes go down. The point was to quickly get on the panel what the sky looked like. Love it for those 20 minutes. (You know... the max attention span of a toddler).
From life (or “en plein air”) is ideal, but this project is about life. So sometimes they are from photos. That’s ok.
I dont have a goal number to complete, but I plan to do them for a year. See where it goes. These aren’t for sale. At least not yet. I plan to show them upon completion, and we will go from there.
I’m updating this real time. It’s unedited, unfiltered, learn as I go. Come with me!
11 Sept 2018. Again, the colors appear brighter and higher contrast than they actually are. Ceruealean, pthalo (!) blue, some cad red light and Naples yellow with radiant white. Really drawn to those subtle variations in thick clouds. Starting to notice them in trees too. It’s a huge mass of vapor, yet it is a definite volume- shadows and light, reflecting all sorts of colors around it.
Gestures. 18 September 2018
24 September 2018
7 October 2018: I’m hitting a bit of a wall with these. I’m finding challenges in other things right now and feel pulled in many directions in the studio. I’m learning my mind can only really take on about 3 creative challenges at a time. I’m finding it hard to be curious about the skies right now. I’m going to go solve some other puzzles and come back to these soon.
10 October 2018. this pair is my favorite so far. Tomorrow, my daughter turns two. This was the same evening, 20 minutes apart. The perfect illustration of how quickly these moments pass.
Im starting to realize something as I do these, in conjunction with the other body of work I’m exploring simultaneously. One of my mentors proposed the idea that my work is less about fleeting moments and more about transition. And I’m starting to think she’s right, but taking it a step further, it’s about the things that are constant in the midst of transition. I love that the same tree is in each skyline I paint, day after day.
I’m noticing a trend creeping into this project- a series of skies in the same day. It further emphasizes the fleetiness.
It’s also a little out of necessity. The moments where the babies are cooperative + I have a minute to paint + I’m near my paints are sort of unicorn moments. This project is supposed to be about this season, not fight against it. So I’ve been taking more photos and working them after the fact recently. And that’s ok!
i expect the next few weeks to be sparse. The holidays are always such a busy time.
23 December 2018. Holiday rush is almost over, and it’s been so fun this year. Eleanor is finally old enough to understand and get excited. We are currently leaving a visit with Caleb’s family- it got me thinking about the concept of yardsticks in our lives. In my studio currently I’m exploring those ancient oaks, which I realized acted as such in my own life- a motif of my childhood that showed me how much I’d changed after I left and came back. The same with these paintings- the horizon stayed relatively constant and the sky above it never stops changing. This trip was like that as well- it’s a trip we take every year (and usually more) where so little changes on the surface. The home, the smells (all good, except for the dog farts), the personalities... but each visit, our children experience it new. But then again, things DO change... just at contrasting rates. Health ebbs and flows, the number of cows seem to multiply, we are all learning how to be parents and grandparents and greatgrandparents.