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I’ve often lamented in these blog pages about how long the artistic process is. How draining it can be.

And it’s true, it’s true. But it’s changing somewhat, and whether that’s due to my own perception/attitude or the simple fact that I’m getting better and the typical stuff that I do has become easier for me, I can’t say. Some of both, although I’m leaning more toward the latter, I suspect.

The two pieces of art posted above represent my output for the past two days. Henrik Larsson on Thursday, Wayne Rooney on Friday. An acrylic painting and a color pastel,  media which take longer than a charcoal drawing, no less. Two months ago (hell, even two weeks ago) this would have been unheard of for me.

And neither of them was commissioned. The Larsson is something I did for myself… I’m a Celtic FC fan, and I wish I could see more of their games, and I was working out that withdrawal through art. The Rooney is for a friend who’s a big ManU fan, but it was something we talked about drunkenly a while ago, and I offered to do it for no profit, just to break into doing soccer art. And I’m glad I made that choice.

The night prior to beginning each of these pieces it seemed as if I barely got any sleep because I was dreaming about drawing and painting these subjects, and it was so intense I felt like I was awake, even if I really wasn’t (I honestly couldn’t tell). And now I’m no longer the guy on the high dive board above an Olympic pool, wondering how I’m going to get down without killing myself, which was how I always felt. Now? Now I’m looking to slice through that water like a knife and fracture the pool bottom with my fist. I attacked that Larsson painting; I just slapped on the paint, and by the end of the day, it was done. I abandoned the calculated and reserved approach I usually take because I felt like I knew what I wanted to do with it in my gut. Every thing else came from that. And I finished a painting. In a day. For me, that’s a feat.

The Rooney drawing was even more interesting because I wanted to do a few slightly weird things from the get-go. I had a vision that was a wee bit different than representational; I wanted to screw with the colors and properties to make Rooney more ominous, like he was some looming beast or alien from a different dimension. Purple sky, greenish hue, liquid shirt. Making his slightly reddish hair orange. I’m not quite sure if I achieved the effect I was going for, but there’s some subjective quality about the piece, which is enough for me.

I’m going to outgrow this genre someday, and I don’t say it out of disrespect, but it’s obviously the natural progression that every artist takes. I think I’ll always be involved with it, because I enjoy the work and it pays well, but on my own time there will be a day when I start goofing around with something else. And I guess I always knew that time would come.