Art as wishfull thinking
Sometimes the urge to run away from the world is overwhelming. It’s hard to ignore phone calls, tv news, hot weather, paying bills, trying to figure out what to have for dinner that won’t heat the house up in this summer heat, etc. etc. I think sometimes I paint just to escape all the mundane. Painting is a struggle. It’s an activity I choose to engage and struggle in. Painting is something like taking a path through some unknown woods. Everything is new. Being “lost” is frustrating…but it’s also the state in which treasure can be found. The goal is to stay in the woods long enough to find the cool new stuff just hanging out there! Just like the walk in the woods, there is much temptation to go back to something more familiar in subject and style. The discipline is to try something new in composition and then keep at it.
I do sometimes copy myself just to enjoy painting without all of that lost feeling, so I admit to going back to the familiar. I have painted Camp Gone to the Dogs 4 times in the last 10 years. My latest version includes our current dogs and my white shepherd, Luna, who was one of my favorites. Believe it or not, I always think copying a painting subject
idea of my own will be easy, but each painting in this series has been just as difficult as the one before!