I’m pleased to introduce “Freestyle,” the newest canvas in my water series.

Frankly, when I started this piece, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. I love a challenge, and “Freestyle” certainly provided it, the challenge being so many layers and details. But I’m learning to take a deep breath and just start painting. I’m learning to trust the process and not be so attached to the outcome. This lesson keeps spilling over into my life in general. My artist-teacher mom always trumpeted the healing and heart-opening benefits of art.

One key detail “makes” this painting for me.

Can you guess what it is? To bring the viewer into the moment, to feel and hear what is happening, this swimmer’s breathing was essential to capture. Without the “puff” in his cheek as he finds his cadence and blows out air, this painting would miss the mark for me. Also, the determination and focus etched into his brow help round out the story.

Meditating while painting details.

Detail work (there’s loads in “Freestyle”) can be daunting. Yet something inside me calls me to it. I give myself over to “swimming in the details.” It may sound crazy, but it’s like I’m actually IN the painting. This is spilling over into many of my nightly dreams (I keep a regular journal).

The following quote is becoming my mantra.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” — Thomas Merton (American Monastic and Writer)

The series continues…

I’m far from done. In fact I have another subject scouting trip to Puglia planned. Still, I have close to a dozen other ideas scratching at my creative door to be let in and expressed.  If you like “Freestyle,” I hope you’ll take a look at my other water series paintings.