When I paint it is difficult to present myself with challenges. However, when a commission comes along something changes about the work. A challenge is presented that I could not derive on my own. The work  becomes serious.

Recently I met with an old friend for lunch who mentioned that he would like a painting to reside in the center of his graveyard photographs. When he asked me to create something graveyard-ish I thought... no way could I do it. So I kind of shook my head and said no, but I would paint something abstract for him.

I pondered a while about this painting, and decided to do something dark, but not like a graveyard... lines, blurs, souls drifting into the air just kind of passed through my mind... He said anything would be fine, even if I could not manage a graveyard, and essentially gave me free reign using his color choices of white, black, and hints of red.

Over time I decided to create a path with two trees on either side. Something simple, and manageable I thought. I blurred in the grass and decided to wuss out and put fog over the top layer when I was finished to make it "doable."

Soon I realized fear was preventing me from creating something more powerful. I decided to add shadows, headstones, and a building to make it really look like the outskirts of a graveyard. Over time I inserted these objects and brought it to life, but it lacked still. So I started to work on the grass... another challenge, another  new adventure.

It turns out you can not rush grass. I learned that grass is a serious process and one must delve into it's creation with full intentions of producing real details. Realism takes time, and concentration.

Ultimately the painting came together and I gave it to him this week. He really enjoyed it, so I think the muse was on his side over the past couple months while I worked out the challenging details.

"Is it a Dream?"

Overcoming fears can be heart pounding fun for artists... It is best to get in touch with Pollock's muses...they taught him not to fear the painting and to be in touch with what is being compiled. Otherwise the connection to the grid is lost, the painting becomes a mess, and the creative challenge is not met.

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