Thursday, October 29, 2015

About The Grid

And this thing I do "in my head."

A dear friend told me one time that I just needed to get out of my head. I don't remember why she told me that. Honestly, I really did not know what she meant. 

So, I got "in my head" to try to understand what that was about. It has taken me a long time to recognize when I do that "in my head" thing and maybe even why.

Simply put, I am a problem solver. And I do it in my head. All the time. It never stops. On and on and on. Constant over thinking. The only way to stop it is to proceed by going forward in some small or big way.

I problem solve everything. I do it for me. I do it for you. I do it for my children. I do it for my dear husband. I can't stop it but I have learned to keep it to myself. They all appreciate that.

This is The Grid. On this day dear Son and I installed the floor in the attic. Here he is brainstorming with me outside my head.

The problem:
  • What or how to cover the ceiling.
  • The screws holding the tin on the roof were dangerously protruding.
  • Every cell of the grid is a different width and height.
  • Did not want to do anything that would make it dark.
  • Did not want to cover the vertical wood.
There are 198 cells in The Grid. He saw it as an opportunity for art painted for each cell. WOW! That he thought of it blew me away.

The problem:
  • On what
  • How to attach
  • The protruding screws would still need to be snipped off
And so on and on and on. Each one of those bullet points leads me down more problem paths to solve.  You get the point. On this day I was lucky enough to have someone outside of my head.

Most of the time it is just me going down every problem path until there is a fork in the path. Before every fork there is a new obstacle. Each path is a new solution. And then more obstacles. And more solutions. And so it goes.

Eventually, it has to stop! The solutions become complicated, time consuming, costly, and impossible. The solution becomes a chore that is no longer something to look forward to. I have learned to turn around and go back and simply remove all of the obstacles because after all, "they were just in my head".  I figured out what "in my head" means.

It means, I have come up with so many solutions or options that it all turns to muddled mush. It is confusing and I feel totally disorganized and defeated.

So about The Grid. I spent about five month in my head after brain storming with my dear Son. Then I ordered five bundles of 36" X 48" heavy duty cardboard that had to be delivered on an 18-wheeler that would not be able to turn off of the farm-to-market road into our drive. Yep another problem to solve.   

Before I started painting the above last November titled, "Who are These People", I resolved that I would only use pastle colors. I would not use collage. I would not paint faces.

And then, the first piece I painted had faces. And then, when I picked the piece up again in March, I reasoned that napkins would not add weight so I collaged. And then I worked on four other cells before putting it down again and more phantom faces showed up. I will share those when Installed.

And then, I went back "in my head" until this past Sunday. I spent a lot of time thinking about what to paint. I was unsure if each cell should relate to the one next to it. I thought I wanted to paint in a more abstract fashion. I thought each cell would have a floral theme. I even reasoned that each cell could be a journal page.

But. I did not want to paint a mural. I considered several ways each cell could relate without becoming a mural. I know nothing about abstract and there was a little voice that kept saying, "now is not the time with a project of this magnatude."  After painting the flowers on the floor cloth, I became unsure about that idea. And you know and I know that I simply suck at journaling. Yep, time to turn around again.

So basically, I came to terms with painting faces on the ceiling by first accepting the phantom people that showed up in the first cells and deciding to accept their presence up in the peak of the ceiling. I was fully expecting more to show up and would welcome them.

I was still in my head Saturday when I thought to revisit my big book on Gustav Klimt and his work titled, The Beethoven Frieze.

I absolutely love the sections with the horizonally floating figures who appear to move their hands in front of them as if swimming. They blend into the gray fresco wall. Not that I was going to create anything like that, I was very excited with inspiration and to get my brushes in my hand.

Sunday morning, I walked into the dark living room with my big piece of cardboard that I had painted a dove gray and white background on. I had a tiny piece of charcoal in my hand and I pulled out the piano bench and sat down across the room from the very large painting I did a couple of years ago. It is the one with the five girls with flower head pieces. I sat in the darkness with purpose so I could not see much detail. I just wanted to quickly sketch the shapes and placement of the girls. But the mood of the dark room transported me back to a sketch exercise assignment that Misty gave during my first trip to Orvieto. She had us scatter throughout the convent and I chose the enormous dark ballroom where the only light was from huge windows that cast warm rays across the floor.

In my own dark living room, I felt the peace of the room and the confidence to paint. It excited me and I sat down and just did it. There were no obstacles and I restrained myself from perfection and details because, for one thing, when installed in the peak of the ceiling, it can never be viewed any closer that about six feet or so. Another thing, with 198 cells in the grid, my mission is to be quick about it. And, I'm not going to get into my head about what quick means. 


  1. Oh my, is this going to be a fun journey. Can't wait to see each cell.

    1. Thank you Kathie. I hope it doesn't last too long but mostly I hope there are no more obstacles.

  2. Wow! What a splendid tale...I look forward to seeing it unfurl!

  3. You are absolutely my hero (or is it heroine? Sounds too druggy) ! Everything you do inspires and excites!!
    P.S. Is the roof waterproof? Would hate to see these masterpieces ruined after all that work!!

    1. Oh no. There could be a water issue. But I'm not going down that problem path too far. Thanks

  4. Oh I have laughed now, and got chills, and excited while reading this post Sharon! Some of these feelings and "openings" for ideas and work I know...this NEVER gets old for me! The wonders of CREATIVENESS, the "BINGO" moments. Your lady loo's are too WONDERFUL. I am reveling in all your "mind wanderings" and loving it ALL. GREAT SHARED POST! Thank you for your sweet sweet words on my post, I left a little one for you. Just keep on A-SHOWIN' us as to progress. xo


    2. Thank you Wanda. I knew someone out there had to "get it". I guess it goes with the creative mind-set. But sometimes it can stop me for a while to sort it all out.

      And thank you MEME. I hoped this share would not be way too much. I needed to put it in writing for myself.

  5. Fabulous....where do these facial expressions come from! Are you always studying people's faces wherever you are? And the headpieces are so very are a talented...genius!

    1. Yes I think I am always looking at face features. I can get totally distracted from a great TV program by the faces. I get lost and don't even know what I'm watching. Thanks

  6. I'm so glad I visited your blog today Ms. Sharon! I've been seeing #the grid and now I get it!!! You are very ambitious and determined, obviously, from the many projects you've shared regarding the Garden Palace. I admire you lots and will be tuned in for the next episode!


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