Since third grade, I've always longed to again be "the artist" creative type. To be real and not a phony. So twenty years later, I finally felt brave enough to become an artist and create my own painting. To explain, when I moved to Nashville, I wasn't sure what to put above my couch. In NYC, I had a gallery wall of picture frames and in Charlotte, I had a wall of windows (here and here.) Though I liked the picture frames from the gallery wall, they were $3.99 from Ikea and had lived long past their expiration date and inevitability, one was always crooked. Plus, as I near 30, I felt like I should have more sophistication and be the type to have fancy art displayed on the walls in my apartment. I dreamed of having one of Inslee's figure studies or this beauty by Britt Bass and while I may have sophisticated daydreams, I'm currently a graduate student with a monthly income of $0, and couldn't afford the price tag on a print let alone a large, original. Though I scoured the pages of Etsy and Pinterest looking for affordable yet fancy looking art, I came up with nothing which led my feisty inner independent woman to think, "I can do this myself."
I'd go abstract so that if anyone critiqued my work, I could simply accredit it to their lack of refined taste. I started planning the canvas, the colors, the tools, and my mind was spinning. This was it. I was going to become an artist. I started to daydream about my studio (terrace overlooking a garden with fountains, of course) and all of the galleries that would showcase my work across the globe. Oh the exotic trips I could go on and all to gain inspiration. Or better yet, maybe I wouldn't be appreciated in my time and centuries from now, pupils would study my work in their art history classes on spaceships. Or the best scenario, I'd become so renowned that Kate would catch wind of my name and hire me to do exclusives for the redecorating of Kensington Palace. I think its clear, I had high hopes of my painting.
Hopes in tow, I went where all of the great artist go to purchase art supplies, Michaels. As I paced the aisles, I cringed at the prices I was seeing. No wonder these Etsy artists charged so much for their work. I splurged on the cheapest acrylics available and a nice medium sized canvas and made sure to swipe my DPHHS ID for my teacher discount on the way out.
I traveled home where I transformed my parent's porch into my terrace studio. Though it wasn't overlooking a garden with fountains, I had mom's lemon tree nearby and the St. John's River in lieu of a fountain. Now, where to begin. In my Pinteresting for cheap art, I had read countless articles about how to take an artist's work and recreate it for yourself and though it was tempting, I didn't want to again be a phony. This art was going to be a Danielle P. Leach original!
I spent days in my studio creating my canvas, blending the colors on my paper plate palette, and carefully brushing strokes of paint only to intentionally go over them again with a new stroke. Through this process, I realized how much I truly enjoyed painting. There weren't any guidelines or expectations. I had no idea what was I was working towards. If I messed up or didn't like my creation, I could simply go over it with new paint the next stroke. It was beautiful and freeing and while I had no idea where the painting was going, there I was dancing around the patio, paintbrush in hand.
Though I wanted the process to last forever, one day I looked at my creation and just felt this need to stop. It was right where I wanted it to be. So I did.
Now that I've rambled on long enough and because I know some of you have been waiting to see my first ever Danielle P. Leach original since it's debut on my Instagram stories, I present...
Picasso Paige's Painting Process!
The end of day one where I realized that I was going to need a lot more of the three tubes for $10 paint at Michaels.
The end of day three (I think.) Annnnd...
ME! Proudly displaying first original.
One more because this snap wasn't staged at all.
I've been told the final resembles a cow which makes sense given my love for cows specifically, ones named Kyle (which is what I call all cows.) I wasn't sure what I would do with the painting but I am proud to share that it is currently hanging above my couch in Nashville. I haven't had anyone over to admire my work but I'm certain, once word gets out, my place will be packed with paparazzi trying to get a snap of my latest piece in transit to the hottest gallery. Get it while you can.