a quick memo from the back step office

As the title says, the 'office' today is the back step, shielded from the sun, the dogs moving from shady grass to sunny grass and back again. Today there is a breeze, albeit a hot breeze, but it's movement and it ruffles my thin shirt and tousles my unkempt Sunday hair and feels most excellent on my warm skin.

This is the piece I had hoped to finish today so that I can box it up and send it on it's way to Victoria tomorrow, along with the other 2 pieces I shared with you yesterday. The last few drops of ink are drying on it and then I flip this bad boy over, install some picture wire on the back and house all 3 of them lovingly in brown paper, hugged by an ugly box for their journey further west.

detail of: another round, please!, mixed media on canvas, 24 x 24 (in)

detail of: another round, please!, mixed media on canvas, 24 x 24 (in)

After painting for almost 16 years, I would have thought that maybe I would be able to put my finger on exactly what it is that makes a piece 'click'. Sometimes the process is effortless. I get lost shaping random forms and filling in color; dark here, lighter there, more spatter, a wonky ink line, and then I step back and it's better than I was trying for. Or different. Or not what I was going for at all and I don't like it at all. Sometimes I think it's the drawing, or too much or the lack of an under-painting. Maybe I didn't spend enough time defining the shadows. Maybe it was too much time.

I still don't know what it is. But I know it when I see it, and I see it in this piece. I'm almost sad to send it away. I love the hiding giraffe, and the Chinese dragon peeking out from behind the little white horse. That happens sometime. But then I imagine the delight of the right buyer that sees it and exclaims: that's IT!!

The studio is shutting down for a couple of days. I leave for New Brunswick on Wednesday to enjoy some east coast beach time and partake in the post-wedding celebration of a good friend. And hopefully ingest some lobster poutine. Yes, that is a thing, and it is damn delicious.

Stay cool, stay caffeinated and stay napped.