Art inspiration

For Sale, I think by Vanessa Longacre-Wilcox

I had ordered a canvas online because I saw a crazy good deal and because I’m still hesitant about stretching my own as it adds another layer before starting a painting.  The canvas, in its shipping box, was on our doorstep when I brought my 5 year old home from school one day. 

“That’s a BIG box.” He said with excitement....

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Sketching is the plan by Vanessa Longacre-Wilcox

I grew up in New York City where a car is a liability not an asset.  I got my driver’s license when I was 21 years old but didn’t have a car.  When I moved to Seattle at 24, it was the first time I really drove. Two years later, I lived in a neighborhood called Greenlake.  The streets on east side of the lake curve along it and there is at least one spot where a fork in the road creates a blind spot.  I drove this stretch almost every day.

One day, driving down that road, with my boyfriend in the car, going the legal speed limit, I got to the blind spot and I said out loud, “I’m always scared there is going to be someone trying to turn on this road when I get to it.”  And my boyfriend said kindly (and nervously) “Well, you could slow down.” I looked over and he was clutching the armrest for dear life....

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The Ugly Painting Stage: What to do if you are not Michelangelo (Invisible Bravery Part 2) by Vanessa Longacre-Wilcox

My husband comes upstairs from playing with the kids, "Did you see my ugly painting?" I ask. This is not a setup, though it sounds like one.  I've been pretty amused by how ugly it is, it has been something we have been joking about.  My husband pauses, surveys the land, “It’s not ugly, it’s just in-progress.”  He’s a supportive and smart man.  I do really swear this wasn’t a set up but I’m pretty sure he didn’t take the bait just in case...

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The Art of Watching Paint Dry: Abstract Oil Painting #1 by Vanessa Longacre-Wilcox

At this point, I think the painting is done, but I'm not sure, I’ll give it another day, time to dry, maybe touch up just one or two of those lines, probably ruin a different line, I’ll have to let it dry again and touch that up, which leads to...oh dear...this could go on indefinitely.  I could be working on this painting for the rest of my natural born life, then I’ll die, come back and haunt the painting, at first it will scare the new owners but soon they'll be saying, “Just leave it alone already!”...

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Invisible Bravery (Part 1): The Mannequin Room by Vanessa Longacre-Wilcox

In the summer of 2000, on most Saturday nights, you could find me painting.  No, I mean it, you really could find me painting because I was part of the ambiance at a nightclub named Contour on 1st avenue in Seattle.  The promoter was trying to create a different kind of nightlife experience, one for creative people, celebrating music and art, he called the night “The Mannequin Room.” (Was it a metaphor? Club-going was plastic? A commentary on societal beauty standards? Was it meant to be ironic?  I never knew.  Whatever the reason, it was a lot of fun.) 

I got the gig because my friend Mary Anne has more faith in me than I could ever have in myself for the next six lifetimes combined.  It's important to...

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