Putting my hair up means one thing…. I am painting.

When it is time to get serious about working I have to take off any jewelry, wear simple, comfy clothes and my hair has to go up in a ponytail. I can’t stand anything on my face or on my hands when I’m trying to concentrate, so that means my hair too.

I spent this past Valentines’ Day night with the one true and constant love of my entire life- my work.

It has been my constant companion. When I lost my favorite teddy as a child, I drew. When I was bullied in Catholic school I quietly sat in a corner for hours with a TV tray and painted with cheap acrylics. (That happened a lot) When high school had its’ rough moments I painted and planned. It has been the friend I turn to late at night in aggravation, in peace, or in pain. I have spent many sleepless nights dreaming up the next manifestation of what could be. As artists know, actual “working” time is not just limited to time at the easel. My work follows me around and keeps me company when I am driving or trying to fall asleep and sometimes taps me on the shoulder letting me know it is always there. I am never alone.

A comfort.

So Monday night I was painting. And here is what I was up to…

Lately I have been starting out more this way. Slamming in the initial washy drawing in oil and then building on from there. Oh yes, I still do lots of planning- can you see the soft, subtle Fibonacci spiral running in the background? That will become important later. The placement of her head is deliberate. Do you think about things like that?

Sometimes it is nice to put on some music, put the hair up in a scrunchie and spend a few late hours conversing with a good friend. My work.

I wish I could give ya the progression and “finish” of this, but it will take me a bit more time to figure it out. The painting and I have a lot to discuss. This model is my neighbor and I am looking forward to where this goes. I don’t normally do portraits with bigger smiles, but she is a smiley one and the theme needs to reflect that, so it has to be this way.

I thought showing a rough start was a fun thing to share this week.

Ponytail up.

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