Yesterday I went to paint at Baylor Hospital in downtown Dallas. When I arrived to set up, I realized I left my paint in my studio, my studio at my house, 30 minutes away. I had a 16″ square canvas, and almost 4 hours to do a demo. What to do????

First I assessed what I did have: I had a giant tube of white paint. I also had my Pallette garages. A pallette garage is a brilliant way to save leftover oil paint. One has globs of all of my basic colors (unfortunately not freshly reloaded, but it was something), and one had all the leftover paint from my last painting, a landscape. Lots of sky blue left.

So…I made a plan. I planned to paint an aerial view of a cactus in bloom. I decided to make the painting very high key, which is mostly light colors. This would utilize the large tube of white. High key paintings also appear cheerful, which is appropriate when painting in a Cancer wing. Then I decided to do a loose underpainting on the whole panel. I premixed colors to see what I could make work. I decided my cactus would need to be more turquoise than green, and my flowers more pink than red.

Lastly, I decided to work all around the painting, so if I ran out of paint before I was finished it would feel more like a study, or really loose.

“Kaleidoscope” 16″ square oil on panel

And…it is one of my favorite cactus paintings to date. I was able to paint calmly, and not seem frazzled.

Here is a detail, notice those two red circles in the middle are from the underpainting, that part never got finished. I love how the thick and think paint interact.

I made a plan of attack, and then I had a great day painting.

As people walked by it was fun hearing how they interacted with my art. One woman was back in the Southern California of her youth. One woman was taken back to her wedding day, I’ve never seen cactuses those colors, they are the colors of my wedding! One guy sang me “Every Rose Has it’s Thorn” and talked about how that is so true. He know it now that cancer had come into his beautiful marriage, my rose he said. I am so glad I stayed and painted.

Please let me know what you think

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