Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big 'Ol Jet Airliner

This is a painting I'm considering for the Calypso Moon Artist Movement FREEDOM assignment. We were issued the challenge to paint what we think of as "freedom". What makes us feel free, what we think of as freedom, maybe what keeps us from being free.

Before having children, my husband and I traveled all of the time. We had a little pop-up RV that we pulled with us all over the country on one adventure after another. Obviously after having one, two, three children, traveling is harder and a gazillion times more stressful.

I long for the days of stress-free travel, no babies to keep quiet, no bottoms to wipe, just scenery to see, souvenirs to buy, and new foods to eat.

My husband, among many other things, is an airline pilot on military leave for the next few years. Being a pilot would be an awesome thing, if nothing else than the travel! I've had the opportunity to go on a few international trips with him, sans children, and have had so much fun and adventure it drives me crazy.

Another perk of working for the airlines is free airfare. Yes, go ahead, hate me. I don't blame you. We fly stand-by so we often don't get where we're going when we want to go, but with enough flexibility we can usually make our trip work.

On the way to the airport, to drop him off or pick up a visiting relative, we have to drive directly under one of the runways. Every times I see a plane taking off for some unknown locale, I get a wave of longing to travel. A wave of envy that those people are off on an adventure and I'm not.

My adventure is driving three children through bumper to bumper traffic doing 75 mph in an old and falling apart Suburban.

(Don't get me wrong. I love my kids, my "job", and my life. I just wish.......)

So my idea of "Freedom" is an airplane. An airplane taking off, bringing it's passengers to some exotic location, like Hawaii, Fiji, or Cleveland. I'm not picky. I want to see it all, go everywhere, experience all life has to offer.

And an airplane can take me there.

(I'm not sure whether I should submit this, though. It's a quick watercolor and the other artists over at Calypso Moon are sooooo good that I feel like an unworthy newbie sullying an otherwise gorgeous collection of art.

But then again, I have zero time for painting since we're moving in six days and I'm up to my eyeballs in boxes and tape. Oh, and trying to keep things clean so our house can show well. And keep the kids from hurting each other. I drew this and painted it in about 3 non-consecutive hours. I think it's the best I can do with the time I don't have. But I still want to participate even if it's not my best work.)

What to do........what to do........


  1. I would submit it, definitely. (And now you've got me singing that song too!) I love the airport sign you put on the side of the road. Your story is also so interesting - free airfare. I have to laugh. I say "good for you!" And moving in 6 days - God bless, you have your hands full & yet you still had time to do this piece. Hope all goes well on your move & the little ones don't make you too crazy!

  2. I think this is lovely. It has good whimsy and it's well executed. I'm not sure why someone would want to travel away from those beautiful pink trees.

  3. Thanks for the comments. I've submitted the image and hope it reads "freedom" to the rest of you, too!

  4. Hi Paula. As you know, I love this piece and I'm glad you submitted it for the challenge. In accordance with the terms of the challenge, I'm now supposed to critique your use of color. I forgot about that part when I was submitting my work. I like your colors very much. They are attractive, vivid and cheerful, and they contribute a lot to the happy mood of your painting. Your shadows in the trees are a muted yet beautiful color. I like the repetition of yellow throughout the painting; it unifies the different elements. I think your values may be slightly off; I probably notice that because value is a constant problem for me. The road is blacker than a road in daylight would appear, and the fact that it is the darkest thing in the painting draws attention. You want it to draw attention, because it leads into the painting, but not more attention than the plane. The plane might stand out more if it contrasted a little more with the background, or perhaps had deeper shadow on the bottom or back-lighting. What I like the most about your work that I have seen is the element of imagination. I liked your comments, and I agree with you that Calypso Moon is a very inspiring challenge.

  5. Paula, I read this post on July 9th and was thinking out loud... Send it to me!!! - but I wanted to let you make the decision, far be it from me to stand in the way of you doing another painting. I have to say your post is superbly written. I travel along side of you as you write and paint from within. I do love your passion for art.

  6. Paula!
    Great to meet you!
    The plane is IT... Freedom. Get in and in hours you are there!

    Pretty great image in 3 hours!

    The bumper to bumper drive sounds like an adventure. Don't you just love the contrasts in life?!
    I hope your move went well!