Pelican In Flight– April Challenge Day 1

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In Flight 6×6 acrylic on gessoboard $75 click to purchase

I’m beginning my thirty paintings in thirty days with this little guy who is flying on top several failed paintings.  I can’t even remember what the surface originally looked like, but I love the way you can see some of the darker layers underneath the yellow/orange/pink in the bottom left corner.  I’ve started listening to several artist podcasts lately, and one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned thus far is that EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, makes bad paintings every now and then.  If you use oils, you can wipe the surface clean and start again.  But the virtue of acrylic is that it dries so quickly you are left with two options– throw it away or paint over what’s already there.  There’s no wiping, scraping.  And what’s underneath, the failure, sometimes helps what’s on top, the re-done painting, to succeed.

I’m in love with the process of painting because it reflects the process of life.  I’m slowly learning the difference between setback and failure. Maybe even the importance of “setback” in the process of success.  I’m becoming more and more convinced beauty is often planted in pain, stems from it.  Still can’t get away from the image of the pelican– her head turned toward me as she flies against a fiery sky.

Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

April 1, 2014

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