Decisions, decisions….it’s all about decisions. While still recuperating from my illness, I managed to finish the second painting for this project. I posted an image of the underpainting in my last update but then got stuck. What you see in the last posting was as far as I had gotten before ending up in the hospital. My dear friend who kindly came up to my studio daily to feed my animals and keep an eye on things was kind enough to make a little video for me to show me that indeed my house was still standing, even without me. When she shot the main studio space, I saw the painting up on the easel. It was just kind of a flash by image as she moved around the room. For some reason I was horrified by what I saw. I thought the painting looked terrible and so for the whole time I was in the hospital and convalescing with friends I worried over whether or not it was a mess and I needed to start over or if I could fix it. When I was finally back at home I put the painting where I could see it all the time and simply tried to figure out what on earth I could do with it. I couldn’t figure out why I was unable to make a single decision about what to do next, which is not normal for me. Usually when I reach a hurdle, I just go work on another part of the painting until a resolution reveals itself, but this just wasn’t happening. Finally I brought in an artist friend to have a look at the piece and have a constructive conversation with. Gratefully he validated that it wasn’t a mess. That was the first good news. Then we just discussed the possibilities. It was then that I realized that the whole holdup boiled down to the decision making process that was stalled. I decided to write in my journal about it and see if I could figure things out, and it was then that I realized what the problem most likely was. When I got sick, it was a matter of collapsing in pain, being picked up and put in to an ambulance and then stuck in a bed behind a blank curtain for weeks. I had absolutely no control over my life. Everything had to be done by somebody else. This is definitely not me!!! I’m normally a pretty decisive person but I had that right taken away from me for about a month and I sort of lost the ability to do it. The painting process involves thousands of decisions. Every stroke is a decision. Even just throwing paint down on the canvas requires the decision to do just that, decisions about color selection, decisions about placement, etc. Apparently that part of my brain got sick along with my belly! Finally I just started slow, making tiny little adjustments that eventually gave me enough visual information to decide how to go forward…. and forward I went. I call the painting “Rain Dance” because the day I did the gestural drawing I used it was a grey, rainy day in the dance studio of Balleteatro Nacional. It created a wonderful atmosphere… silent drops falling past the windows while dancers flew through the air, sunshine coming from their guts. I knew this project was going to be evolutionary because of the time it will take to complete it. But I was thinking in terms of the scope of the project and not about personal life lessons that would fuel my own evolution. Be decisive. Move forward. And, um, stay healthy.