Go Big or Go Home

A Place to Wander final 4 22A Place to Wander” Oil on Canvas, 4ft by 5ft by Christine L. Owens

“Go Big or Go Home” is a saying that we hear in the art world often. It’s an invitation to stretch, to join the Big Boys.

In 2016 I set myself “A Big Scary Goal: Paint a Four-Foot Painting!” A big scary goal is something that sets your body to shivers when the voices in your head tell you that such a thing is “impossible.” Yes, the thought made my head spin; but, taking risks with my painting is how I grow. In May 2017, I finished this piece! DID IT!
Here’s how it happened! Yes, there’s a process for facing your fears.

First, I wrote down my goal somewhere that I would see it daily. I use Simpleology, a website that you might like to explore, because it gives me the tools that I need to organize this crazy, wild brainstorm that occurs constantly in my head and focuses me on getting things done.

Next, I let the thoughts brew about what would be WORTH painting that big. I knew that my style would need to shift to a less detailed practice, which is another goal.

That summer my favorite art supply store closed (sigh) and all of their supplies went on sale! What did I see waiting for me? You guessed it: a 4ft x 5ft canvas for half price! All of the “Don’t do it!” “Where will you store this?” “Your studio isn’t big enough so just where do you think you will work on this?” brainwork started, but I dismissed them by countering with the excitement that assured me that it would work itself out with time. It barely fit into the back of my RAV4 to get it home, where it stood for months blocking an unused cabinet and where my husband stores his bicycle.

In July 2016 we visited with friends from college. My friend has a home in McCall and reminisced that she’d like a huge painting of the Teton Mountains for a very long wall. Landscapes aren’t what I enjoy doing because “neutrals” are boring to me. I paint flowers because they are colorful and vibrant! That thought rolled around until we went camping near McCall at the Ponderosa Campground. There I found so many wild flowers that I just wanted to roll in them for joy!

In February of 2017 we had a little flood in our basement where the canvas was stored…yes, it was okay because it was still covered in it’s plastic seal. This pushed me toward getting that canvas used. That same month I received a call asking me to display my artwork at the Hayden Lake Chamber of Commerce. When we returned from our vacation, I went to the office to talk and take a look before agreeing. HUGE walls, a painter’s delight, brought my imagination to it’s fullest! Okay, THIS is where my 4×5 needs to hang!

In March it all came together: the wildflowers, the wall, the canvas and my motivation.

How do you get the work done? You show up for work every day, no excuses. The first step on the first day was to somehow set that canvas up in my little studio. Because it was too big for my easel, I set one side on the easel and propped up the other side with a stool and books until it was level. Artists have wonderful problem solving skills. And so I began.

Each day a new problem was solved. Each day I learned something new. Every day I went to my studio to paint (except Sundays…one must fit family outings in somewhere). This was the first time I had painted without drawing first. This was the first time! And it was wonderful! I pushed through that horrid middle time of “What the hell am I doing?’ Slowly, as the Chinese proverb teaches, one little step at time will get where you want to go. Just take that first leap, that first step into the unknown.

The result of taking a big, scary risk, is often spectacular! “A Place to Wander” was voted First Place for the People’s Choice this last weekend at the Coeur d’Alene Art Association’s Showcase Exhibit. I am thrilled and grateful that my work is appreciated! It is now hanging at the Hayden Lake Chamber of Commerce as planned for May and June, along with twelve more of my paintings. Big Scary Goal accomplished!

Hayden Lake Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 1210
8254 N. Government Way
Hayden, ID 83835
(208) 762-1185
(209) 699-0790
email: info@haydenchamber.org
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~ by chezchristineo on May 11, 2017.

2 Responses to “Go Big or Go Home”

  1. You boggle the mind! A magical combination of talent, imagination and discipline! With a little fairy dust sprinkled in❣️ I wanna be just like you when I grow up, ha!

  2. Thank you, Cindy! You are pretty magical yourself. Time to make your own Big Scary Goal. I’ll send you some fairy dust to get it rolling about in your head and ward off the “be practical voice.” You go, Woman!

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