Surprise Painting Series

Forty days in quarantine. It's been an interesting ride. I won't get into all the nitty gritty of how the Allen family has been doing.. because, I mean... we've been crazy. But I will talk with you about this great idea I had to do a series on paper when I ran out of canvases. At least I thought it was a great idea.


In the first week or so of social distancing and the Stay at Home order, I ran out of fresh canvases. Just my luck. But I did find a pad of artist paper that SAID it was for acrylic paint. So I thought, perfect! I could do some paper paintings. I didn't know if paintings on paper would sell, so I advertised about it before hand. But I didn't want to do commissioned specific work because the second that someone ASKS for a specific picture, I freeze up and hate what I paint. This resulted in me posting on my Instagram and Facebook that I was offering a limited number of paper paintings but they would be surprises. A surprise painting series to the first people to ask for them.


The second I posted, I immediately got a wave of anxiety! Poor Kirk had to deal with me going "What if no one wants them!? This is so embarrassing!" over and over for about an hour. But they were all claimed in just a few short hours! I was astounded!


This was a HUGE ego boost for me. Ten different people were blindly willing to pay for one of my paintings. It ended up being even more than ten. I let two more slide in and then had to turn people away. I don't say this to brag, I say this because as an artist we can become our own worst critic. I get so down on myself sometimes and wish I was further along in whatever vision of "success" I have at the time. I want to remember to LISTEN to the encouraging moments.

So, anyways, I got the paper out, set up a little area in my kitchen and got started. Aaaaaand..... IMMEDIATELY regretted this whole endeavor. Paper that was for acrylic paint my butt! I hated it. The paper soaked up all the paint so fast and the texture was all weird. I hated it. I had to do so many more layers and approach each painting entirely different. It was a miracle they all ended up okay!


But I grew as an artist. With each series, with each experiment, with each try, I grow as an artist. And that's the point.


I learned that I definitely prefer canvas over paper.

I learned that $35 is NOT worth a painting that takes about six hours and a ton of paint.

I learned that bringing people joy in the form of a painting *almost* makes it worth it!

I learned that I need to shorten series to less than 10 paintings because I become bored.

I learned that I definitely want to paint more corn.

I have had a lot of people ask if I will do this again in the future. And when I say "a lot", it was probably more like four people. But my answer is this: I can see myself doing another surprise painting series. I loved the surprise part. But it will definitely be on canvas next time and I will definitely have to charge a little more money for the time it pulls me from my babes.


But here it is! Enjoy!



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