“If life gives you lemons, you make LEMONADE.”
I’m a very frugal person. My parents still remind me how when I was little I hated anything new. I still use one of my lacrosse shafts in high school and plan to run that “into the ground”. So, during the summer when I found a bunch of old art supplies and materials lying around in storage, I decided to use them.
The materials were mostly from my art school days, making some of them over 20 years old. Aside from college tuition and such expenses being outrageous, I’ve always thought the same with art supplies. Weekly art projects and assignments in school were costly, thus class grades, to me, had to be competitive. It made me look over my “rolodex” of current ideas and saw some things that I wanted for 2018 and to exhibited at the Lacrosse Convention.
Among the materials were boxes of oil paints and a big, stretched canvas still wrapped in plastic from an NYC art store that doesn’t exist anymore. The last time I did an oil painting was in the fall of 2008, called ‘Everything Counts’, which depicts important details that are mostly taken for granted or overlooked.
I figured that a classic, straightforward portrait of a traditional, hand-strung and hand-carved, wooden lacrosse stick was the piece to execute. As a history buff, I decided to take the theme back and go vintage, sort-of-speak. A lot of the paints found happened to be of earth-tones and shades. It was a perfect palate to make something old, or antiqued, and I was quickly reminded of the Broadway musical poster of ‘Hamilton’, below.
If I was a doctor, prepping the painting was like surgery. The right supplies had to be ready and handy. The work area had to be clean. Everything had to be in place. It was strange to use a wet medium like paint all over again. I had to be careful because it felt very foreign to me. The smell of oils, alkyds and brush cleaner took me back in time, creating a smile on my face. Man, did I miss this!
Here are some of the work in progress pics, below:
Layering, glazing, shading , highlighting and repeating, were the tactics used to get myself back into a rhythm. Slowly and surely, things were coming together the way I wanted.
Ironically, Art History was my least favorite subject in art school, but influences from a favorite group of artists called ‘The Fauves’ were added to the piece. Mix in some classic art styles of ‘impressionism’ with ‘realism’, it was finished in just 4 days.
The task of painting was intimidating, at first. But, after finding all those old and unused art materials from over 20 years ago, it motivated me to not waste the money spent on it, back then. I said that I am a frugal person. I opened the article with the quote “If life gives you lemons, you make LEMONADE’, which means you make use of what’s around you. In entrepreneurship, the term ‘bootstrapping’ means you get yourself in or out of a current situation using existing resources. Aside from executing the painting to my standards within the short period of time, I felt that the ‘zero cost’ to do it was the real success! The finished piece, below:
Reproduction prints of ‘The Stick’, are now available for purchase.
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