18 x 14
Unlike all the people who work with others, artists often spend days on end without talking to another person, let alone a peer. We can become uncertain, mannered, and squirrelly; not good for the creation of art. So working and talking with professional artists for 3 days was a balm and a rejuvenation. There was wine, good food and shop talk. We applauded exciting passages and colour mixtures and commiserated with wipe offs. But, since we've all had plenty of those, they weren't a big deal; just part of the process.
And that was the thing that this retreat most reminded me of: the fact that making art is about process, not product. Wonderful if something works and you can pop it in a frame, but also wonderful if you've taken some risks with the paint, but it didn't turn into a keeper. That's beside the point. The point is to work with integrity and honesty and to be fully engrossed while you're doing it.
This painting came from our model day. We worked both in and outdoors with Brenda, trying to capture her calm beauty (and sunburnt, landscaper's arms) and were enthralled the whole time. The day just flew and the process was never anything but enthralling.