Monday, October 3, 2011

New art project: 90 paintings in 90 days, First Day, Green Coconuts

    On a boat on the ocean there is plenty of time for existential angst, but none comes up. Daily activities seem meaningful and the destination is usually known. The boat wouldn't go anywhere without the crew and that small sense of purpose rids the day of self-doubt. Out of sight of land I feel joyful, even though I'm not a naturally cheerful person. Now I'm back on Molokai, where I find it incredibly difficult to manufacture a sense of purpose.
     I'm certainly lucky to be living in a beautiful place surrounded by good friends, but those moments of peace, so abundant on a gently rolling sea are less frequent. It is a contradiction difficult to reconcile and just to say, there isn't anything wrong with Molokai. Boats of all places should feel claustrophobic, I must have something backwards. 

      My last project on Molokai I worked long hours, didn't get out much and gained 35 lbs. I unpacked clothes I had left behind and found a pair of pants that fit seven months ago. 

    In an effort to form better work habits, and improve my skill I've come up with a project;

        Ninety Paintings in Ninety Days; a painting marathon 

     I want to paint to more spontaneously, so I stand up to work as sitting makes it too easy to goof off, forming new habits requires focused daily practice. I've invited the painting muses to visit as I've come to believe that I'm the vehicle, not necessarily the driver when it comes to creativity. I've had this experience many times, like that moment in Google Earth when you zoom in to street level and the view point magically shifts, ideas arrive like that, from some other dimension and they feel like a gift. I don't know if I'm capable of attracting enlightened muses and not, for instance, some disgruntled spirit whose last project was The Creature from the Black Lagoon, but that might be okay too. I'm willing to be surprised. I have a place to work in a former potting shed that looks out on a lovely garden and I'll make an effort to post a painting on my blog every day. I'll work fewer hours and get out on the water in my canoe for that sense of peace when I need it. Anything to prevent putting those pants back on.             

Day 1, Green Coconuts, picked from the tree in the yard. 4 hours


  1. This is wonderful. I will be following and supporting your challenge. We cut some coconuts last week and put them in the fridge....yum the water and tender meat was delicious.

  2. Thanks Barbara! Green coconuts are the best! I love the triptych you're working on.
    To check out Barbara's amazing drawings:

  3. Catherine, this is exciting! I'm checking every day to see what you channel.

  4. I'm excited about this whole project Catherine - got your email and will be in touch next week, Chris.

  5. I'm excited to see all these as the project unfolds! I'll be in touch next week.

  6. What an amazing project, and you have created some beautiful work. I found you through Mernie, who worked with my dad at Solano Community College. She painted several murals in our "Hollywood House" in Las Vegas.
    - Brandy Dean

  7. Thanks Brandy, Mern has talked about your family many times over the years, she's quite fond of you all. Appreciate you taking the time to look!