Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon’s sparkling
So kiss me
~ Sixpence None the Richer, Kiss Me
I sometimes get so caught up in thinkin’ about the subjects for my canvases. Like so many of us, I fret over the empty canvas. I look at it and worry that I’m going to “ruin” a canvas. My art journals give me way less grief, because the paper seems so much less permanent and less expensive and less important somehow.
I can spend tons of time and loving arting energy on the paper, and then when I get to a canvas, I get all choked up, thinking that I have to make something perfect just because it’s a canvas.
I have been working on breaking through that barrier (always, always, keep on swimming, keep breaking the next barrier, keep Stretching the Boundaries). One thing that has helped is to look at my canvas as a great big art journal page. If I make something that ultimately I don’t like, I can always gesso and paint and glue stuff over it! I forget that too often.
So I’m learning to work faster than my fear. Just get the canvas out, and get started. Make something. And stop thinking so much (which is super difficult for me!).
The other thing that has been helping is to think less about the actual subject. I’m going with what’s in my heart, using the images and ideas and subjects that I use on a daily basis in my art journals…that is, expressing the same ideas that I express in my journals, just in a bigger way on the canvas. Those subjects for me are love, friendship, flowers, the beauty in the world around me, my joy in my kidlets, and my relationship with God.
Silly, I know. Why are those subjects good enough for the journal pages and not so much for the canvas? Why would I fight that??
Well, I’ll fight it no longer. While I have used my journaling often as a place to work out what will later go on a canvas, as a practice spot so to speak, I realized that I need to take to the canvas the same joy that I have while working in my journals.
And I do have Happy I Love You Day on the brain (really, you ask??). Yep, I do.
That brings us to the first in a small series of heart canvases.
Prompt: Make something larger, something more out there, get out of the journal and onto a canvas, or a piece of wood, or a wall even…but get brave, treat the canvas like you treat your art journal. Make something fabulous and playful, just like you’ll do in your journal.