March 17, 2022
A question that is often asked of painters is---"How long did it tale you to paint that picture?"
It is a good question but one that is very difficult to answer. This painting is a perfect case in point. Come along with me on a little time travel back to the fall of 2005 . I was recently retired from the business of going off to kindergarten every week day and still luxuriating in the feeling of having so many options to fill up my days. It was a joyful time for me.
When my dear friend and painting partner, Martha Robinson, invited me to the Royal Winter Fair on one of the livestock days, I jumped at the chance. We settled ourselves in an aisle between some of the sheep pens and set to work. I will tell you that it is a tricky business painting a moving target, that's for sure. It was such a wonderful day. Tiring but very fulfilling.
Much paper and paint was used up in the process and I returned home beginning to feel like a "real" painter. This session was the first time I had had the courage to paint in public. People stopped to see what we were doing and to tell the truth I felt like quite a bit of a fraud!
When I returned home I looked through the results and while I was proud of myself for putting myself out there the results were less than stellar to my eye. I knew that I needed much more practice.'
This week, in search of much needed studio space I began to sort through old piles of work and the paintings from the Royal came to light. Most were beyond redemption and went into the recycling.
But this one, this one had promise. I set it up where I could see it and gradually it began to speak to me. I could clearly see where it could be improved and set to work. I realized that the intervening years had given me skills of analyzing a painting that I really had not recognized. I spent time each day for a week or so just looking and then adding small touches that made all the difference. Finally a voice in me said "Sign it now. it is time. There is nothing more to do at the moment."
As this whole adventure was winding up I realized that it is a great gift to be able to look back upon the things we do and to see a progression to excellence no matter how slow. It is a gift that becoming elderly has given to me and I am so grateful.
So, back to the original question, how long did it take me to paint Larry, Curly and Moe? Would you care to hazard a guess???