The Journey. Acrylic on oak wood, approx. 4 1/2" x 3 1/4". Private collection.
This little painting is about the journey we are all on. We get anxious sometimes, and I don't know about you, but when I'm nervous I act pretty crabby. But someone is always there to light the way and help us on the adventure.
When I was a kid, the idea of climbing into a boat and sailing away all alone was very appealing. Maybe it came from reading about Max, in Where the Wild Things Are, or from other stories like W. Heath Robinson's The Adventures of Uncle Lubin. Maybe it is simply a universal fantasy of all children, which is why those great stories have had such strong appeal. For me it sets in motion longings forindependence, freedom, and adventure.
This painting was a fun experiment in color and texture. I had previously done the painting of BoaterBird, and was not finished with the journey theme. I used the paint thickly here, and the majority of brushwork was done with a pointy brush rather than my usual flat brush.
I played with it a long time, stirring up the black and blue paint like icing. At one point I questioned whether or not to continue working at it. I ended up enamored with it, and now it's one of my favorites. I identify with the personality of this nervous/crabby little
potato-beaked bird, and I will always appreciate a light along the way.
Sorry, the glossy finish didn't photograph well (I often forget to snap pics before the varnish).