Feeling the nudge

I am sitting in the shade in the downshifting hour between 4 pm and 5 pm, enjoying a cold beverage.  With a nice breeze and a sunny sky, it is truly a perfect day.  

I’ve committed to finishing a rather large commission this week, which is taking up many of my productive hours in the studio.  However, I still find time to follow my creative urges.  

I was particularly drawn to this old photo of Bob Dylan when it popped up somewhere on line the other day.  It is from that amazing period after he moved to New York City and signed with Columbia Records in the early sixties.  He begrudgingly became the poet of several generations as they tried to find their way out of the tumultuous decade that included assassinations, race riots, civil unrest, Cold War tensions, and so much more.  

I honoured the nudge and sketched out young Dylan last night and slapped down some colours for a background.  Several hours today were spent adding colour to his face and body.  

You may wonder if I plan out a project like this one.  I don’t.  However, I get a feeling for the colour palette at the outset and often use that to guide my choices.  

I tend to stop the painting process at 4 pm.  I have established a routine that includes pausing for a break and breaking bread with my family.  I’ll return to this painting after dinner and bring it to its conclusion before calling it a day.  I’ll start back up again in the morning with the big commission and something new that will occur to me in the moment.  More nudges.  More paintings.  


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