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I posted recently about having been in a bit of a funk lately, painting-wise. What happened, in a nutshell, was - I did a number of paintings in a row that "didn't work out," and got so discouraged that I became paralyzed. It felt terrible. I kept trying to think of things that might get me going again, but nothing worked. I was in a deep hole, and in that hole nothing even looked good to me. Not old paintings, not even other people's paintings.
Finally I thought of something that has worked for me in the past - a return to my comfort food: apples. I found a container of tiny apples at the store, and brought them home. I've painted maybe a million apples at this point, so I was comfortable doing it. And after this first one, I thought, "OK, I actually don't hate this, maybe life hasn't gone off a cliff after all." So I kept going. And pretty quickly I was back in my groove. Whew.
I picked a small size because that is also in my comfort zone. And after just a few apple paintings, I landed on a composition that called for a larger panel. It made me realize that these little ones are GREAT for 1. warming up, 2. dusting off the cobwebs, and 3. practice. Sooo, even though I said a few months ago that I wouldn't be doing these small still lifes anymore, well ... umm, nevermind.