I know I said I was going to spend a year working on 24 x 36 inch canvas in a minimalistic style. But sometimes my muse just wants me to paint a happy owl. Meet fluffy! And for those a fan of my black and white or more neutral work, yes, my black paints are laid out in the studio and more minimalism is coming.
This winter was a particularly hard winter. One day I walked bravely out on the deck to get a cold breath of nature and watch the birds feed. There was snow all about. Even the birds looked cold with their feathers fluffed up, making them look like round furry balls. I heard an owl hoot. And imagined him fluffed on his branch. I heart him hoot again and imagined it was a lament over his cold toes.
CRASH! I heard in my mental studio. My Muse had just pushed all the painting ideas I had neatly lined up in row in order tagged with paint, color scheme and even if there was a preliminary sketch. It was all in order. I went to pick up one of my future canvases and my Muse rudely kicked them to the wall. “This! This! ” and held up a canvas of a pissed off looking owl. Not only was it a canvas it was a BIG canvas, about four times the size of my usual canvas. “If you do this, I’ll even give you a few special bonus treats,” said my Muse.
So I put on some music and said down to paint. One day I did the background and then gave it time to dry. How about if I start on…this..and pictured a canvas and showed it to my muse. “No”, said my Muse stomping on the ground.
Shortly I was back painting, feather after feather after feather. And did i mention feather after feather after feather? Big feathers, little feathers, paint from one feather merging with another and making a new color. There must be a hundred small feathers around each eye! The music beat on. It was a cold and wet stormy day. Rain and hail hit against the window in staccato counter beats to the music.
Finally after hours of non-stop painting I was done. Suddenly, I felt mist against my face, I could see the clouds and I was flying through them. My rational brain panicked. And I was back in my warm studio. I thought there must have been a branch fall on the roof making a hole. I looked up. The ceiling was whole and dry. I raised the shade on the window, as I paint with a light source I control. And the window was intact. I felt the floor. It was dry. I checked to make sure I was using my non-toxic lavender oil rather than some toxic inhalant. And lavender oil it was. I swear it was not a dream, but for a moment in time I flew as a owl.
My Cold Toes
So I went back to my mental studio and started to line up my projects again. Someone posted a funny hash-tag on my Facebook feed. I laughed. CRASH! BANG! No, not again! My Muse had thrown all my mental canvases on the ground and was holding up a new one. “Hash-Tag Hoot!” said my Muse, “You like?” I laughed I did like.
Certainly, NOW we were done with owls. What more could I paint, I couldn’t think of any thing I’d like to do with owls. Not one. In fact I was getting a bit tired of owls. I went to put my mental studio in order, but before I picked anything up, I heard an evil cackle from my Muse. “No, not more owls, no more owls”. I begged. My Muse, with a huge grin, held up a new canvas.
Odd Birds in the Family Tree
Now just when you have had enough of owls I have to confess this wasn’t my first encounter with an owl obsessed muse. Here is one from last summer.
Owl Storm Eyes
So for a bit, my muse has given me an owly break. But that is only because of the fox I saw running through the backyard. But that is a story for another post.