To put it mildly, this month is busy. I have an artists’ conference to attend, not to mention an alumni reunion of my university honours class in another city, happily to be combined with visiting dear friends. Everyday life with house, garden and walking continues apace. And then’s there’s the matter of the four impending commissions. …
So how did I get myself into a “delicate condition?” First, instead of planned parenthood I opted for Leda and the Swan. This happens to painters, or at least those for whom a painting is a major time commitment. First you feel the urge to look through your reference photos (think sperm bank) and after days of trolling, about a dozen of them wink back and send “come hither” glances. You corral these on your Desktop and try to imagine each one as a six to twelve square foot painting. Each argues its paternal strengths, citing healthy traits and raw appeal. Some wear cowboy hats, but I consider that cheating. And finally you choose the next "Mr. Big" and now it’s just you and Zeus. Pure passion is running the show and your brains have checked out of the hotel.
This is where intervention could be helpful. I do not have time to be pregnant right now. But there went Monday and Tuesday prepping the canvas and painting the grisaille. And Wednesday-Thursday were consumed with the transparent blue layer. Eleven hours in, my back is complaining, yet I am just barely showing, to squeeze the metaphor. You will note that this 24 x 36 scene is incredibly complex and that a smart person would not have chosen to shoehorn that baby into this month. If Alcoholics Anonymous members can have sponsors, why can't painters? I need one badly. When the art-lust knocks out my brain, I would call this person and send her the reference photo and size. She would immediately call back and talk me back from the edge: “Step back from the easel, Z’Anne. For now, paint an 8 x 10 bunny. No trees, Honey, and definitely no bare branches. Good girl. Call me tomorrow.”
Lacking such a sponsor, here I am - deliriously tired, merrily obsessive, covered with paint. No turning back now. I'm expecting a big baby!