Aug 22, 2012


15 x 24" original oil

This painting is the result of a last minute change. I had a 15 x 24" painting planned out, my husband had the panel built, I had the surface prepped, and at the last minute I hated the photo reference I was going to use. I rifled through all of my photographs knowing I wanted something with reds and yellows and found three that I went "Meh..." on, thinking I could make it work. Lastly, I found this photograph and went "Gasp!" The reference is actually very zoomed out, this painting is only a small piece of the center, but I love it like this. It's a painting full of shapes and colors, not so much full of "tulips". These tulips that look like peonies are crazy to paint. 

Thank you Becky for the awesome title idea. I posted this painting-in-progress on Facebook and Becky commented that she loved the perspective, and as soon as I read that comment I knew that was the title for this painting for two reasons: one, there is a unique perspective literally in this painting as the viewer is low and in the flowers, but two, there is a life lesson in the idea of perspective and how you choose look at your life and your place in the world. I have been thinking a lot about that for the past few days and so the idea and word/title was a perfect fit. 

I have written candidly on this blog before about my struggle to accept the trial that my husband and I can't have our own children. I've been thinking a lot about my situation, and I love the idea of how perspective comes into play here. I can look at myself with the perspective of being a failure, being broken, and being less than all of the other women around me who are mothers (which is an easy way to look at myself), or I can look at myself with the perspective that I'm trying to make my life what I can through my painting talents, and that I can build a career that will enable me to touch countless others through my artwork. When I feel really down, I am so glad I have my positive, bright and colorful tulips to help me see myself with the right perspective.

This is what my studio looks like right now. 

Here is a detail of a favorite area. 

This is a photograph during the painting process for Perspective. I started with the blacks, then did the reds, then finished with the yellows. The painting Like Bees to Honey, which I just finished this week, is in the background hanging on the wall. 

Aaaaand this is where I live. Really. I come out at 8 and I go in at 5. Sometimes I cheat and take a long lunch or run an errand at 3. When I really have it all together I'll get up even earlier so that I can fit in some exercise before 8. I do play ball a few mornings a week; that gives me a good break from hunching in front of an easel.  My idea of a perfect day is to play ball all day long, then sit in a hot tub after dinner. Who needs to work? Work shmerk.


Peeser said...

First of all, about the painting: I love it (not surprisingly- you have such a vivid sense of color and how to use it to enhance the work, not overwhelm it or the viewer!)- my favorite part is the top of the painting, with the bottom of the one tulip dominating the center, then the cluster of red tulips surrounding it, almost like they are embracing the one. Plus, I love the contrast between the peachy-brownish color of the one and those vibrant reds!

And know that my heart aches for you and Matt not being able to have children, especially since I know how wonderful a mother you would be. I have some other friends who have also struggled with this problem. Though I can't say I know exactly what you're going through, I can imagine it because, as a single person of 33 who is part of a religion where a majority of the members marry young, I feel a similar sense of pain, even failure.

But I, too, have learned not to dwell on that. Yes, there are times when the longing for eternal companionship is so strong that I cannot help but weep for not having found it yet. But the Spirit strengthens me and lifts me up, reminding me that I am still a beloved daughter of God, still a beloved sister of Christ, still a valuable and vibrant member of this community, still a worthwhile member of my congregation. There is still- and always will be- so much to live for!
(At the very least, looking forward to whatever you choose to paint next! :)

Keep sharing your incredible gifts- of painting and otherwise- and know that you are loved by so many!

Sunny said...

Ditto. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Cristall Harper said...

Thank you so much Elise.

Cristall Harper said...

Thank you Sunny.