Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
My creative process is always a meandering adventure leading along nebulous pathways into manifested clearings of artistic output. As I scraped the frost off of my car on my way to the art supply store this morning (yes, it’s happening…insert all possible “Game of Thrones” references **here**), I was reminded of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”. I love his trepidation, standing at this fork in the road, looking down Path A and Path B, trying to decide which way to go. I also identify with his ballsy decision to say “Nope, I’m taking that less frequented pathway, thank you very much.” That’s how I feel whenever I have a new painting commission. I stand before this multi-pronged fork in the road, gazing at pathways I have taken for past creations. There’s always this decisive moment in my mind when I start forging through the grass and trees to find a new pathway.
So back to my shopping outing. I feel art supplies “shopping accidents” are perhaps the most joyous of shopping events. I hear a resounding “why?” from the imaginary interwebs peanut gallery, so let me explain. During an art supplies run, every item in the store nearly vibrates with yet-unleashed potential. I never feel like I’m finished saying what I need to share through my art, so walking into a store packed with artistic potential makes my creative energy whir and dance. Every tube of paint and blank canvas whispers to be awakened. The beauty in this part of the process is that I never know what my arsenal of supplies will yield, especially with some new additions to the collection! My creative process is always a reminder to make this whole life about the journey rather than the destination.
Pre-shopping trip, my client tells me about their experiences as well as their connection to a particular piece of music or song that they would like to have interpreted on canvas. I often step into the store with an idea of the following:
- Do NOT buy these colours (for some reason I have yet to do a painting that features neon hues…stay tuned for the day I play with this palette!)
- DO buy these colours (especially if I’m feeling the painting needs a colour that’s not in my stash)
- I am willing to spend X amount for the sake of stocking the arsenal (directly proportional to the sales I discover).
When visiting a store full of art supplies, it is always, always, ALWAYS exciting to discover a sale on those items you use up like they’re sashaying out of style. In my life, the “bread and milk” of art supplies are respectively “canvases and paint.” Imagine my delight this morning to discover the BTGO (the less commonly used acronym for “Buy Two Get One Free”…that I might have just made up…) offer on acrylic paints. Woawww!!! Yaaaass!!!
I’m currently working on a commission for the choral song “Frobisher Bay” by James Gordon. Take a listen here (don’t mind the rattling cough at about 3:00): “Frobisher Bay -University of Michigan Women’s Glee Club”
I can’t tell you if all of the above paints will make it into the final commission, but I do know I’m feeling ready to express this beautiful song on canvas! Once the painting has been delivered, stay tuned for pictures here on the website. So with this Frosty poem on the brain and this frost-bitten song in my heart, I start this new comMISSION with excitement and anticipation.