I am happy to report that my idea to treat today's painting as a meditation worked really well. I love working with oils because they can be very forgiving. It is because they stay wet so long it's easy enough to remove or paint over something that isn't working. But that same quality can have me pushing the paint around until it is just a muddle. Once I had my little epiphany though that the frustration is really just coming from how I am thinking about what is happening I took a different approach. Deep breaths and an intention to just let thoughts rise and fall. If a critical thought surfaced I listened to it once, thanked it for its critique then reminded myself that it's only paint. What is the worst that could happen? I end up not happy - paint over it and start over? And who would care if I had to do that? No one - no big deal. The masters probably threw out more paintings than we'll ever know about.
Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes the master. I'd give credit for that quote but I don't remember who said it.
I'm getting close to finishing the shoes. I want to do some more refining on the shoe laces and then I have to find a way to add in the blades of grass. I attempted a start at that but wasn't happy with the brush I picked. Back to the "drawing" board on that one. But I'll figure it out. I really shouldn't be too much longer on this one and then I'll start on one of my commissioned pieces. All in all, it was a good day.
By the way, if anyone wants to make an incredible French Onion soup: Slice up your onions (I used sweet ones) and put them in some kind of oven pot. Drizzle a littel olive oil and butter over them - add a 1/4 of white wine and cook them down slowly. I think I had the oven set at about 300 for an hour or so. I stirred them occasionally. Made the most scrumptious carmelized onion. Tossed them in a sauce pan with some chicken broth. Tomorrow will add the croutons and maybe a little cheese. Beats standing over the stove while the onions cook down in a pan and the flavor was incredible. They cooked down while I painted.