Finally, a Chance to Breathe… and Paint!

Life Intrudes on Art and Vice Versa

I’ve often heard the saying, “Art imitates life”, and I’ve also heard the opposite stated, “Life imitates art”.  However, what has been true where I’m concerned is that life does not imitate art and art does not imitate life, but rather, life intrudes on art and art on life.  A constant tug of war goes on until finally one thing yields to another.  Sometimes, the mundane tasks of daily life win out, and art is put aside in favor of sweeping a floor, or making dinner, or washing some dishes.  Other times, art wins out and I find myself at my kitchen table, painting while ignoring the ever growing stack of dirty dishes behind me.

Seeking a Balance

Ideally of course, I’d strike a balance that gets all the chores done, makes it to the gym to work out, spends time with my husband and kids, visits with my grandchild, makes time for friends, and still gets artwork done.  As of yet though, I haven’t found that balance.  I come close at times, but then I get lost in a painting and fall behind of everything else.

Speaking of Getting Lost in a Painting…

Speaking of getting lost in what I’m doing, I’ve been working here and there on lots of different art, even though I haven’t posted all of it yet.  For quite some time I was lost in the painting of Sphinx Dude.

The first Sphinx Dude painting came about almost by accident.  I was preparing a little mini canvas for doing an abstract, and I was laying on texture with a palette knife.  I set the painting aside to dry the background, and when I picked it up, my eyes saw, in the random texture patterns, a picture!  I saw a Sphinx with wild curly hair, then I saw a shape like a dragon, or a seahorse coming out of the sphinx’s mouth.  The abstract was forgotten as I painted in what my mind saw in the patterns.

Below is a picture of that background, can you see the Sphinx Dude?

Sphinx Dude comes alive
This was a random background, until I saw something in it.

In case you couldn’t make it out, I have another photo that I opened in MS paint, and quickly outlined what I saw.  So now you can compare the two photos:

Sphinx Dude begins to take form
So I outlined the shapes I saw with purple. Can you see them now?

So, long story short, I had to paint this!
Spinx dude regular 2

So with that, Sphinx Dude was born, but I had the nagging desire to further develop the concept.

Sphinx Dude Grows Up

So, I started another painting, this time, not a mini canvas, so I would be able to let Sphinx Dude develop and mature.  In the process of maturing, Sphinx Dude grew wings and took on more natural coloration.  I titled this second piece, “Sphinx Dude’s World”.

Sphinx Dude Space painting dragon

Both of the Sphinx Dude paintings have sold, but I have plans for a third.  I am trying to decide between two possibilities for further adventures of Sphinx Dude.


Growing as an Artist

Sphinx Dude isn’t the only one who has been growing.  I’ve been experimenting with different techniques and mediums in order to grow as an artist.  Sphinx Dude was born out of my palette knife painting experiments.  Here is another painting done completely with a palette knife, the only thing I used a brush on was the signature.

Cherry Blossom palette knife paitning
Cherry Blossom painting completed with a palette knife.

In addition to playing with palette knife techniques, I’ve been trying watercolors as well, but more on that next time.

6 Responses to Finally, a Chance to Breathe… and Paint!

  1. It is so good to hear there is someone else that finds things in the random lines, squiggles, and shapes of things like pallet knife smoothing! I do this in every texture, wall knockdown, plaster, and stucco too. Thanks for sharing your artistry beginnings. I can’t wait to see more!

    • Helene, I see things in textures all the time, on tiles, in clouds, even in my bowl of pudding! lol

      • I am glad to see this comment. I thought that I was going mad. I stare at the bathroom floor all of the time and see witches and goddesses in the random patterns. I never tell anyone because I think that they will just roll their eyes at me.

        • Yes, I have my comments set so that I have to approve them. I would prefer to just have them automatically improved, but people just kept spamming my blog with irrelevant links, mass produced comments about things not related to art at all.

  2. I think that I am in love with Sphinx Dude. He’s bright, he’s colorful, he’s adventurous, he lives excitement. I would love to see the continuation of his saga and I am fascinated by how he came about. Presenting his adventures in a variety of media would be quite fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing Sphinx Dude.
    In addition, the palette knife techniques were amazing!