Dare to Go Big
" Have I not said, that a woman should never, under any pretext, forget her womanhood; that to be a woman is her first condition in life? But when she desires to paint large sized pictures and mounts a ladder, she is lost- lost as a woman"
- Elizabeth Cave, 1877
I loved finding this quote and I love sharing it. Our foremothers couldn't express themselves as they chose, so aren't we obligated to ascend that damn ladder if we want to?
Dare to express yourself in a big way!
For me, painting large is really fun.
The tricky part of a painting is the composition, whether the painting in small or large, so why not go big?
Here's how I work. I like to paint fast. Using filbert brushes, standing and using the full swing of my arm. My brushes and water at my feet, paint on a small moveable table.
I like to just get some paint on in the first session, that way the painting is underway and the icy white of the canvas is no more. I add some well-placed darks and lights and a color palette that is calling to me that day. This lays out some of the puzzle pieces that my intuition will work out on another day.
Session two is a wild affair with the colors flying.
Usually, my paintings are too busy at this point and I need to simplify them in the third session. And if I’m really, really (really) lucky... I will feel that the piece is finished at this point, but usually there are several more attempts .
Towards the end, I feel the need to be bold, take a risk, go somewhere new - even if it means destroying the work. This balancing act is where the painting comes to life.