Friday, February 28, 2014

When being a virgo... drawing studies for a painting

Once in a while I become, shall we say, obsessively detail oriented. Maybe it is a lack of confidence, or maybe not taking deep enough breaths.

Or maybe some details just need attending to.

The small owl that I'm painting on linen has become, in my mind, a mural, something large, maybe a frieze on the side of the Mall of America.

In other words, it has become disproportionately daunting.

Partly because this bird has serious character, and I don't want to miss that. Nor the beauty. Also, I'm painting it for my sister, who has higher standards than there are devices for measuring such things.

Many, many owls have been drawn by me over the last weeks. Or rather, the same owl many times over.

I remember being told the story of the zen painter (or maybe it was a chinese master?) who was commissioned to paint a rooster.

After a few months (years) the customer became impatient, and demanded to be given his painting.

"Well, if you are in such a hurry, I will do it for you now!" With that, the painter pulled out ink and brush, and painted a flowing, balanced rooster.

"I paid you that much for you to spend less than a minute making this?" spluttered the outraged customer.

The painter smiled, and invited the other person back into the studio for tea. Once there, the customer stopped and stared all around.

On every wall, on every surface, was a painting of a rooster.

What does it mean? Clearly, the painter was obsessive compulsive, and had problems with self-confidence.

Insert winking emoticon here.

ETA final owl painting

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