Calling this past summer crazy would be an understatement. If the Titanic was a bit big, outer space has some elbowroom and Jack Russell terriers can get a little excited, then this summer was crazy.
In the last two months, I have flown to a large convention, DragonCon. I have flown home twice, once for a death in the family and once for the wedding of a close friend. A couple of friends flew here for a weeklong visit in which we toured Boston and had a ton of fun. I have two on-going large commissions competing for my time. My wife received several job/postdoc offers extended to her. We took a road trip into northern Vermont for a street rod car show. Oh, and my wife and I found out that she is pregnant and we are expecting our first child.
I mention all of this as a way to explain why the marketplace has been finished for all of the past two months and yet I am only now getting an IMPrint posted to display it.
Robin took a business trip to Spain in the second half of July and a commission manuscript was delayed in reaching me, so I suddenly found myself with plenty of time to myself for two weeks. I made use of the time by chaining myself to the drafting table, putting my head down and painting. My wife returned home to provide a second pair of eyes, and 24 hours later it was finished.
An odd thing happens when you spend over two years working on the same large piece. Its presence- in your studio, in your time and your imagination- becomes such an ingrained part of your life that you don't know exactly how to feel when it is gone. You don't miss it per se. You don't feel a hollowness or anything so dramatic. There is no feeling of loss, and indeed there is a definite feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. And yet, your world does feel a little different in a certain ineffable way. Imagine watching a tree grow in your front yard, year after year, always there to provide a shady spot, always rustling in the wind and littering your lawn with leaves after a rain. Then one day it is gone. There is no big emotional loss, but for several weeks every time you walk out your front door something seems... off.
Perhaps in the case of the marketplace it is a feeling of security. Or laziness. Or more accurately, complacency. Any time I had a lull in commission work, the marketplace could come out and provide me with something to work on, no great thought involved. Sometime soon (as soon as time allows), there will be another large piece to work on. Another presence. But first will come the planning, the development and design, the discarding of many ideas, research for reference images and setup... none of this is more difficult than the painting, or less fun. In many ways it is more enjoyable. But it's uncertain. The big decisions haven't already been made.
For over two years, the marketplace has been in my studio, a security blanket, a constant friend and an anchor, a compass ready to point the way if I need direction. I don't need any of that, and I can create a new one whenever I want to, but this particular tree has been there for a long time, casting its shadow and rustling in the wind. Two months ago, the huge tree in my studio disappeared. In its place was a finished piece, Morning Market:
(Click on the picture for a larger version)
Thank you for following the creation of Morning Market with me, and I hope you enjoy the final result.
“The shortest answer is doing the thing.”