subtlety in layers

Every little bit adds up. Savings. Fitness. Reading a chapter of that book a day so eventually you finish it. Cleaning as you go so the house is not a complete disaster when someone stops by. Putting things back in their proper place in the studio after you are done with them....so you know where they are next time. Over time, some of these little things save time, or enable you to go on a trip or teach you something new. I sometimes forget how a little bit adds up. Painting, for example. It's not uncommon for me to finish a painting in a sitting, or several paintings. But most of the time it's not from conception to finished piece. Often there are canvases in various stages throughout the studio....some nearer to completion than others. Sometimes I feel disappointed with myself at the end of a studio day that I didn't get more done. Then I have to stop and ask, (or the bearded dude will look at me, smile and shake his head and ask me:) why am I being so hard on myself? I have a few things running through my mind as I work in the studio today:

One: I am thinking about my fall trip. I have already taken my annual trip to the east coast of Canada....I just did it early. So, where am I going this fall? I am thinking about London! I have a friend who just moved to England and I haven't left the country yet. I've been looking at tickets and getting a little scared. Not about the ticket price, but about being so far from home. Then, as I do, I was listening to Vinyl Cafe just now while putting a gel layer on a piece. Stuart was doing the show from Manitoulin Island, in Ontario. It's the largest freshwater island in the world! In Canada. Picturesque. Lovely. Somewhere ELSE in Canada that I haven't been to. Then I felt a bit bad about maybe wanting to see about going someplace new within Canada. There is still so much I haven't seen here! Be brave and fly across the Atlantic? Stay within Canada? In the end, both options are pretty great and will result in lovely sketches and little stories.

Two: I spent the better part of the morning cutting bits of lovely patterned paper to put on this tree canvas. The paper I was using is kind of a cloth paper. I was using two types. They are both a light green, one with a swirly pattern and one with a stripey pattern. They were far bolder before I gelled them on. Now they have kind of faded into the trees and background.....but it's the subtle nature of the lines and bits of contrast that the paper layer provides that I find so appealing.

From far away the textures aren't immediately apparent. But then, that's one thing that I love about my work, and I'm told people also enjoy. They see something new every time they look at a mixed media painting. That's why they keep looking. I need to keep this in mind for myself with life, travel, learning new things....it doesn't have to be immediately apparent. You just work away at things. Challenge yourself, even in small ways. Keep your eyes and heart open, camera, pen and paper at the ready. Whether I add more paint or just ink to this piece I'm working on, or whether I decide to be brave and cross the ocean alone this fall or stay and explore a tiny bit of Canada I haven't seen before, these experience will add layers to my life and make the overall picture far more interesting just the same.

It makes me feel a mixture of excitement, anxiety and restlessness. I think it's time for a little sun and a bit more laundry.