Every morning I take a walk down to the beach with my dogs and kids. It's about a 40 minute hike and I am surrounded by trees the whole way. It's a beautiful way to start the day.
I really needed the inspiration today because I was not at all happy about using a viewfinder to isolate pattern and texture: challenge #2. I almost exclusively paint nudes. The idea of using a viewfinder when painting a woman doesn't sit well with me. I never want to objectify women by isolating one body part over another. I can't even bear to isolate a woman from her story. I paint both.
And painting landscapes? Ughh! Although I can enjoy looking at landscapes I have never enjoyed painting them. So what was I to do with today's challenge? I needed a muse.
I turned to the trees: sensual bark, rotting and peeling trees, driftwood, the firewood I had to stack when I got home, branches and roots stretched out over rocks. Big amazing trees larger than life. Old gnarled trees humbled by time and the elements. The tree; the only one brave enough to remove her clothing for the winter, baring her arms on this cold chilly morning. I love her skin, her bark. It is tough, yet she can be wounded.
By the time I got back to my studio I wanted desperately to unzip her bark and run my hands along her smooth inner bark. I wanted to know the heart of her. I put away my brightly pigmented paints and smooth canvases. Too garish, this was no painted lady. I brought out my beeswax, resin and wooden sticks. The studio air quickly smelled of her spirit. I unzipped her bark and searched for her heart.
I'm not finished with her portrait yet. I have a small poem I'd like to inscribe on her exposed inner bark tomorrow. But for now she waits. She is still my muse. There is still time to carve my love letters into her.