Okay, I have been through all the usual emotions while working on this. I spent a couple of weeks walking around the house with Anjali’s photo, printed from the computer, contemplating the portrait. I have actually been contemplating it since before I actually took her photos in November. Then, once I started I felt pretty good about it and the sketch came together fairly easily. I started with the eyes and immediately started with the anxiety. Then the skin was a little stressful. I always start skin by putting on a layer of green, then I build the skin tone on top of that. The green always throws my mind for a loop, but I know that it will make a good base for all the reds, browns, yellows, etc., that I will use to make the skin. So, I grind my teeth, try to keep from crying, sometimes remember to pray, and continue. When I finally come up with a good skin tone, I am relieved and start on the eyes. I was complimented on my ability to do eyes and was feeling good, but then, of course, I was unable to make eyes that satisfied me. Stress… Took a photo (which I posted in the last post) and cheerful, again, because when I take a photo I seem to see it with new eyes. It works like that when I walk away and come back later, too. Sometimes I am shocked at how good it looks when I had just a little while ago felt sure it was trash and I would have to throw it away and start over. LOL! So, I worked on it for several more hours, trying to get something good with clothes, but especially hair. I was so relieved when I felt like I was done and signed it. I was happy. I took a photo and put it in the computer and started getting it ready to post. Then, I started seeing ugliness and bad things. I touched it up some more. I worried and tried to overcome my anxiety. Now, I am feeling like it is trash and I am embarrassed to show it. But, I can’t do it again. This is it.
This is almost my usual struggle. I have been trying to sound cheerful and positive with every post, but reality is that I am continuously struggling with a love/hate relationship with my art. Even within just one piece of artwork. Sometimes, I don’t think it is worth the pain… But, then after I have recovered from it and not looked at it, maybe moving on to another project, I usually end up loving it in spite of it’s flaws.
I’m sorry if this is not what you wanted to read. This portrait was subject to many of my mood swings and I am exhausted.
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
— Psalm 94:19 (ESV)
The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.
— Emile Zola