Friday, March 1, 2013

Seven Years in the Making

I write books, start to finish, in a three months.  I may write super fast, but I paint super slow.  I don't know if it is the perfectionist within, but amid my OCD painting style and all those layers of paint, I move like a sloth.  Not to mention that in watercolor if you screw up, it's permanent.  There is no going back, scraping paint off or covering it up.  NADDA.  So if I don't get it right the first time, well... it's a lot of money down the drain.

Back in 2006 I got this grand idea that I would paint my family portrait.  Back then, my sons were wee little baby boys and I didn't want to paint them as they were, but what they would become.  Also, I didn't want to paint them in a modern setting.  The light bulb came on and I thought, wouldn't it be cool to do a medieval scene?  

Yes it would.

So, in 2006 I got out the biggest sheet of watercolor paper I own (30X22) and started sketching.  Over about 2 years I came up with this...

You may laugh at the timeline, but I did mention my perfectionist OCD painting style.   I swear it's an illness.

Then, in 2008, I picked up writing.  It's like being a mom, a painter and busy off my butt wasn't enough.  I had to add something to the insanity.  I wrote my first book in three months and it sucked.  So much so that I went back to painting in the middle of 2009 and got this far with the portrait project of doom...

Once I got the family drawn in on the horses I decided that I needed to go back to writing and give it another try.  Out came four more books, all equally sucky and unpublishable, but I was making progress.  After a particularly harsh and defeating rejection I picked up the brush again for some relief.  In 2010 I got this far...

I know, right?  Making progress!
Then in 2011, writer blocked on my 6th book, I decided I was going to really get cooking on the painting.  


Anyway, despite my sloth like approach, book #6 got picked up by a publisher in 2012.  Then I sold my house, moved 1300 miles, bought another house, lost my dad to cancer, repainted the whole damn house, had a plumbing situation, wrote book #7 and a synopsis for book #8 AND amid serious stress, grief and an impossible deadline for book #7.... *takes deep breath*... I finished the portrait of doom.  Here are the goods:

Apparently I needed the right level of motivation to get it done.  On the other hand, it was a good thing I was so slow because Brit the Wonder dog wasn't around in 2006, 07, 08, 09 and 10.  She was the 2011 addition and I'm glad she got in there because she is our third child.  The family portrait wouldn't be complete without her!  Anyway, my camera didn't do the color saturation justice, but I like it.  I'm getting it framed today and I am super excited because come next week, I have plans for yet another painting AND I need to get writing on book #8.

My life is nuts.

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