Time to pause

Since we returned from Cambodia in December, I've been painting seven days a week.  It is a comfortable yet demanding pace that requires all of my faculties - physical, emotional, spiritual - to be in top shape.  I seemed to run out of steam by mid-afternoon yesterday.  There was nothing left.

I had been spending my morning working on a new portrait of Bob Marley.  This was a picture of the famous reggae singer that I've had on my vision board for over three years.  Each time I looked at it, I never felt ready.  Yesterday, when I asked myself "What's next?"  The answer was looking at me intently, with his dreadlocks blowing in the breeze.

I took my underpainting path on this one, as I do with so many others, with lots of deep yellow, cadmium orange, alizarin crimson, and dioxizine purple forming the first layer.

Skin tones followed with more definition to the facial features.

In my final sweep, I added some new colours and started to get a feel for where the piece was going.  That was when I had to put my brushes down and get a change of scenery.

The sun was bright and warm by 3 o'clock, though the air was still crisp.  I took advantage of the respite from the abnormally cold temperatures we had been experiencing in the last week of March and went for a walk.  I'd been listening to CBC Canada Reads, passionate debates about a number of books.  I was eager to read one, or several, and made a beeline to our local Coles outlet in the mall.  A copy of Mark Sakamoto's Forgiveness was front and centre at the checkout.  It was a toss up between that and Precious Cargo.  I went with the latter, as it was the eventual winner of the competition.

It was so nice to sit on the sofa and read, both before and after dinner.  I had not realized how much I needed the recharging time.  For no particular reason, I had been pushing myself for a very long time, producing over 100 new paintings since returning from overseas. The pause was precious.


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