Flagstaff Mountain, Day Two
Dropped off H and some things at the kitchen and went back up Flagstaff with about three hours to paint. I decided to take it up a notch and brought two 21 x 30 inch canvases to use as panels for one 42 x 30 inch painting. After 45 minutes of scouting around the picnic parking lot complex on top of the hill I settled on a seemingly "simple" view of Green Mountain between two trees, with four fir boughs branching in from the left side. A trail meandered a couple hundred yards behind me and the road the same distance below - the perfect combination of access and seclusion!
I finished the top half and was feeling good. Then the easel collapsed, flinging the canvas down the slope where it slid to a stop face down in the pine needles. Somehow I kept it together and repainted it, then started on the second half. At the two hour mark I was out of a couple necessary colors, as well as oil and paper towels, so I packed up. This is not to mention the texts, calls and emails I was fielding about work-related things. Sometimes this distraction is welcome but today it was too much. I had to go.
The painting needs another session (or two). And perhaps that is the upshot. I know I need to work on these more than once, and why would I if they turned out how I liked after one session? Now I can go back in. Still, my mood went from anticipation to excitement before starting, to feeling great and in the moment of struggling through the painting, and then down the familiar emotional curve as the character of the painting and my expectations slowly separated, ending in minor despair.
Again, I need to remind myself that the process is all that matters, and self-criticism is not worthwhile thinking at this point.