Wow, a brand new website. And it’s even of a semi-grownup variety, not like many other personal projects I’ve undertaken in the last decade or so. There’s a photography page, one of those obligatory “about me” pages, and links to my Twitter account and brand spankin’ new Facebook page. I’ve also set up design and writing sections which will be developed soon.

And by soon, I mean, well… perhaps not soon. But in the future. Sometime. Yep, definitely sometime in the future.

I really started this project to play with WordPress, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked having my own little corner of the Internet for creative play. Not to mention that professionals in my industry are sorta expected to have an online presence nowadays. Since I don’t want to do LinkedIn for the masses….. here I am.

I’ve been mulling topics for first blog posts while prepping other content, dreading the blank-canvas nature of the whole thing. Then it hit me — I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the years about the painting in my living room, so I can show you how it progressed. You’ll quickly see why the doubleword adjective “blank-canvas” nudged me toward this topic.

So. Almost eight years ago now…….

I absolutely fell in love with my townhome the minute I walked through the front door with the realtor — tons of light, a superhigh ceiling, and cool spaces with lots o’contemporary potential. I closed the deal in mid December 2003 and moved in gradually over the next month or so.

A fellow art director friend, Spain, talked me into stretching my own canvas so I could hang a huuuuuge — and I mean huge — painting in the high-ceiling room. Quite the handyman, he even offered to build the frame for me. His wife Kari came over to help, too.

Within days I’d stretched and primed that puppy. I sat down, keester on the fluffy soft carpet and back against the wall, proudly and satisfactorily admiring the very large, very pristine — very blank — canvas. Yikes! I’d never been so creatively intimidated in my entire life.

There’s lots to do when moving, so I let the intimidation ride while I handled all those new-homeowner details and tasks. I propped it against the wall, and there it rested.

And rested.

I bought new furniture, so I had to shove the canvas to the other side of the room, closer to where its permanent home would be. Realizing I wouldn’t be able to paint it upright — at 11 feet tall, I’d be unable to reach the top — I resigned myself to a lot of head-tilting while painting it on its side. I played with color combinations, grabbed leftover latex from the painter who splashed eye-poppin’ colors all over my new home, and purchased small cans and large tubes of additional paints and other mediums. A couple of new brushes, some unconventional paint application tools — gosh, I can’t remember now everything I bought — and I was ready.

Yeah. Except for that intimidation thing. What should I paint? I sketched, researched, created Photoshop comps…….UGH. It was at least two months, maybe more, before I finally decided to just toss out all my preliminary ideas. Every. Last. One. I simply touched paint to canvas and let the universe guide me. No plan, no goal.

That’s how it continued every weekend for the next month or two. It’d been soooo long since I’d gone to that artist-place in my head on such a regular basis. Creating, so deep and so close to your soul, with no advertising or editorial objectives. No audience, no reader. Just me.

Below is how it progressed. Click the thumbnails to see ’em bigger.

Getting started was the hardest part. Once I was into it, I loved the process, playing with textures, layers, transparencies, and any other whim that gripped me. Best of all, I loved that I’d dived into it with no plan. I let my inner muse — whatever that means — guide me minute by minute. I lost myself for hours in those minutes.

And — tada! — the result’s below.