Painting abstracts this week felt freeing for a number of reasons.
For one, I had just finished a commission that was very realistic and required great attention to detail.
Another was I was working with oils which is also unusual for me.
I enjoy the short drying times of acrylics, but the consistency and smell of oil paint creates an experience that's hard to match.
Maybe it's a primal thing; the smell of the linseed oil. I feel a little like Tom Hanks in Castaway beating his chest after successfully building a fire.
Spreading linseed oil and pigment on a canvas and creating something beautiful (hopefully) feels good.
"Look what I have done! I am painter!"
I don't beat my chest, though. EVERY time.
I had given up on the idea of painting for a couple of days, because Erin was away and it was just Finn and myself.
Happily, it was one of those times when everything for the two days seemed to fall into a rhythm.
Maybe it's just that things are holding his attention for longer periods.
Earlier in the day, on our manly expedition to gather fire wood in Finn's red plastic wheelbarrow, we saw a hawk circling fairly close overhead.
I had seen one earlier in the week on a hike.
If an animal shows up in close proximity several times in a row I usually look up the symbolic meaning online.
There are always several, but one will usually stand out.
Years ago I heard a healer answer someone who asked what it meant when you see an animal over and over again.
His answer was, "Exactly what you think it does."
Later in the day, I was painting and Finn was happily "working" with a pair of pliers and cardboard a few feet away.
"Is that a whale?" he said pointing at one of the paintings.
"What's that dog doing?!" he said referring to another one.
We play the cloud animal game a lot and I thought how it must be similar to him.
I didn't see the whale or the dog even though he insisted.
He settled back with his pliers and cardboard. About a minute later I made two quick strokes of yellow on the canvas with my palette knife.
Staring back at me was the perfect small silhouette of a hawk.
Of course I had to look it up.
The messenger, the observer.
Basically, take a look at what's around you.
I'll take that.