Sunday, May 8, 2011
This is a painting I owe as an exchange of gifts. E made my website, I owe him a painting.
The drawing is just a plan for a painting. There's a girl in a yellow dress standing next to a cougar, oh well, I don't know what kind of cat it is, but the cat has spots and has more orange than the pale yellow dress of the girl. There is a large bat in the air over them. E likes bats. Any painting I make for E has to have a bat in it. The girl and the cat stand in a field of little purple and white violets, the flowers get smaller as they recede into the distance, as do the trees. In the background is a castle and water mote and a galloping horse. Mountains in the distance, and the sky behind the bat is a glorious sunset, shades of red, pink, orange and then a blue that bleeds into purple. The greens of the land will vary too; the flowers and trees will be one green, the grass another green, and the mountains in the distance will be less green, shifting to blue. Don't know yet what color the ribbon in the girl's hair will be.
E said he likes color and except for the black of the bat, I think I can give him a lot of color in this painting.
The drawing took almost exactly five days, started it on a Monday and finished it on Friday.
Yesterday I was working on another drawing, which happens to have a different type of bat in it. "Draw the bat first, and the rest of the things will fall into place." So I drew half a bat. I looked at the clock and it was only 9am in the morning. But I was tired. And I got mad at myself. "You've only worked half an hour, and your exhausted? You can't be an artist like that. You have to do more, everyday. Maybe if you listened to some music, the music would give you energy and you can draw some more." So I put on some music and listened quietly. Still no energy to draw more on the bat. So I talked to myself again. "Just the ears. That's all you have to draw. Just the bat ears." They were rather large ears. And I started drawing them. The music must have given me some energy because then I started on the second bat wing. I did most of it, but lost my concentration again when trying to draw its foot. So the bat only has one foot, but it is mostly complete. I think by the time I finished drawing it was 11am, a good chunk of time had gone by. Some of that time I was simply listening to music and trying to find the willpower to return to my drawing. Empty time, sitting alone, staring off into space, with a fog of mental resistance inside of me.
Willpower and the concentration to carry out a task is something that my schizophrenia takes away from me. I have to carry on internal conversations sometimes to boost myself into action. Walking downtown? No easy undertaking. But it was what I wanted to do next after drawing the bat. I had to push through mild or moderate paranoia, fear of people and exposure under the open sky. I have to push through these emotions, at least lay them aside with something very similar to courage. It feels like I have to summon courage to walk downtown by myself. But yesterday the sun was shining, and I was wearing a pretty skirt and jacket with scarf, and by the time I arrived downtown I felt capable of hanging around in some of the stores. Once I had put the plan into action, I felt a little carried away with it. I was downtown, in a mass of colorful, happy people, and I wanted to stay downtown. Maybe it was the good brain chemicals released by a little exercise. I actually had the guts to walk into an art gallery and have a conversation with the gallery owner. I critiqued her star artist's latest show.
If E doesn't like the plan for his painting I guess I'll have to draw him something different. But I hope he likes it. It is hard to tell, just from some pencil outlines, what the final thing will look like.
Have to draw a pig holding a gun tomorrow. A tough image.
But I like the challenge.