WWLD: What Would Lisa Do?
I set this Georgia O’Keeffee-sque challenge for myself this week because I thought it would be an easy one. I knew I had a crazy week ahead after a crazy week behind and since I’m running on empty I thought I’d set a challenge based on a lesson plan I have done literally dozens of times. Piece of cake right? I have talked about Georgia O’Keeffe and done a sample demo for truly hundreds of kids… this should have been easy, it should have been a quickie, zip zap done, like I do for a bunch of kindergarteners (short attention spans mean work fast). But some how this one just wouldn’t come. I did at least three small paintings in my studio all of which I deemed unworthy of the blog. Then I thought ok maybe it’s too much pressure, I’ve been trying to do a Georgia O’Keefe painting and I’m not Georgia O’Keeffe so there is no way I can hit that mark. So I thought maybe I’ll work the flower in the computer and came up with a Georgia O’Keeffe meets Andy Warhol piece (working title Georgia Warhol) but you know what? It lacked some essential Andy Warhol-ness, I guess I’m not Andy Warhol either. Then I played around with the flower more in photoshop and came up with a Roy Lichtenstein meets Georgia O’Keeffe piece that was neither Roy nor Georgia and certainly not ME. I went to bed frustrated and frazzled how would I get this piece done by weeks end, other deadlines were pending other obligations set. The next morning I tore up all my other painting and dragged the computer work to the trash and hit empty (so I couldn’t fall back on them) and set to work. I had 4 hours to get something done or else on Friday I would have to admit defeat and write that I couldn’t complete my homework. In the night had I realized what seems pretty obvious now, all week I had been trying to make a piece of artwork in somebody else’s image, trying to BE somebody else. I could not do what Georgia, or Andy, or Roy would do I had to ask WWLD, What Would Lisa Do? First I thought back to my lesson with the kids, I always tell them to “be the bee” and zoom into the flower, well I’m a mighty big bee so maybe working small was part of the problem. I cut a piece of door sized canvas, brought over a vase of Calla Lilies, warmed up my arm, zoomed in and went BIG! Then I got out my signature Cadmium red and outlined the whole thing in red. Now this felt like me, now I knew what I was doing. The whole thing flew together after that- big brushes swooping and swiping in big arcs, I was all done and cleaned up by lunch and it felt good, it felt like me! I have pinned the painting to my studio door to remind myself each time I enter that space and sit down to create, first ask WWLD? Then go for it!