Alright. I’m doing it for real. FOR REAL! This time I’m really going to be dedicated to blogging. I know I know, you’ve read it from me before….in my last blog….which was so long ago I can’t even remember! So here you go…I’m deciding to write once a week for 2018. I’m going to try really hard to stick with it and just do it!
(Even this tiger I photographed is shocked at my decision to blog!!)
I have some exciting things to write about, because a lot of great things are happening in the studio and with my work. As I wrote in my last post, I’m embarking on the biggest series I’ve ever tackled thus far- the 7 days of Creation for the Institute for Creation Research, and the new discovery center they’re building which opens Fall 2018 in Dallas. While I can’t share any photos with you (I’m going to throw in some sketches!) of the actual pieces and concepts…I thought I’d give you an inside look at the process.
Thus far I’ve spent hundreds of hours thinking, praying, planning, looking at photos, designing, sketching, studying, mulling over, musing, laughing, crying, sweating, and really just being in a state of wonder about the project I’m getting ready to embark on. By the way in an effort to work smarter and not harder and to increase my productivity (7 paintings in the next few months is a tall order!) I’m using a new app called Toggl to track my time spent on various projects and parts of my business. I’m excited to see really how many hours it takes to create this series! It is amazing to me to stop and think that this is a project that from concept to completion, from initial meeting and signed contract to hanging on the wall for the public will take a year. And it took God only 7 days to actually create all the real thing, not just an image! WOW! Anyway…ok back to my other thoughts.
The designs for each of the 7 panels, which will be 3ftx5ft each, will be finalized this week. As soon as those are ready…work on the big ones will commence! While I’ve had an amazing holiday season, (Ok my Christmas break has lasted almost from Thanksgiving to now!) I’m excited to get in the studio, put my nose to the ground, turn up the music and PAINT! While I’m still dealing with some ups in downs in health and energy levels, I’m ready to get back into gear. A deadline always helps that!
Thus far the journey for this project has taken me to multiple libraries, to Pinterest for an undocumented amount of time, scouring the internet for images and inspiration, watching NASA videos of the sun (super cool, please go watch a sun video right now!), reading National Geographic articles about deep space, photographing models in multiple photo shoots, contacting National Geographic photographers, and much more! See where I’ve been spending all those hours? Research and Development is one of my favorite stages of a project. For me, this is the part where I’m getting all my ducks in a row. I’m reading Genesis 1 over and over. I’m reading Bible commentaries, I’m locating books about all kinds of subject matter from trees to birds to you name it! So far I’ve amassed about 500 photos to use for this project and I’m about ready to burst with the excitement!
One really fun part of this preparation time was a recent trip to Colorado. Not only did I get to work with my mentor and “art dad” as I like to call him, Thomas Blackshear, (which was amazing by the way!) but I also visited the Denver aquarium. I wanted to take all of my own photos, or as many as I could for Day 5- which is the creation of the birds and all the sea creatures. I love aquariums and it was a really good excuse to need to go get photos! The Denver aquarium was AMAZING and I really enjoyed the time there. I got so many photos and videos and I was so mesmerized by all of the colors of the fish. There was every color imaginable! And metallic fish! Every color scheme for every design fad was represented. There were these really cool metallic gold and green fish, gold and orange and a few other color combinations. They just screamed luxury brand! There were 90’s workout clothes neon fish that seemed to have spunky personalities as they zoomed across the tank from one side to the other. There were pretty fish, ugly fish, and everything in between fish. All shapes, all sizes. I was particularly enthralled with the yellow and black fish that seemed to follow the sharks around in the big shark tank. Like they were his minions or something! So loyal to their master they followed him wherever he went!
Every time I go to an aquarium I am reminded of the infinite creative possibility that God has. That inspires me to create things that I’ve never created before- knowing that God has no limit to his creativity, and we are made in his image! It’s always good to be reminded of His power and infinite wisdom and creativity. I see it best when I go to an aquarium.
Enjoy the photos! And watch for my next blog coming out after the new year!
Happy New Year!!!!