On May 1, 2016, the day before the deadline to enter, I submitted an application for the city of Pearland's Pear-Scape, a public art sculpture trail project.
If you've seen the pelicans in Seabrook or any of the cow parade cows, that's what this is.
Giant fiberglass pears (4 feet high and 38 inches wide) that would be sponsored, painted by different artists, and then installed around the city of Pearland.
I was supposed to know by the end of May 2016 if any of my proposed pear designs had been selected, and then I was to have from the beginning of June to mid-August to paint my pear.
My three proposed pear designs
Well, I was never chosen.
And in fact, I was a bit relieved.
It was fun to be brave and submit my designs, but I had a feeling that actually painting a giant pear would be very different from playing around on paper.
I knew artist friends who were chosen, and also learned that people were getting selected much much later than the proposed pear-scape timeline, but still, I had let it go.
Fast forward 11 months, it's Friday April 7, 2017 and I'm excited and getting ready to host my second annual Self-Compassion Saturday the next day. I'm also looking forward to the week after to rest and recharge as it's been a busy season and my UnBLOCKing Your Creative Magic E-Course also launched and saw it's first group of UnBLOCKing participants!
For some reason, I decide to check an old email account I'd been cleaning out for a couple of months and was waiting just a bit longer to make sure I hadn't missed anything before I officially closed it.
There were two emails about Pear-Scape.
The first email had been sent Wednesday April 5 and apparently, one of my pear designs (the colorful zentangle garden) had just been chosen by a sponsor. I was to pick up my pear that Friday (thus the second email on Friday following up to see if I would be picking up my pear, as it was Friday).
I panicked a bit.
This was so not in my plans.
Besides needing some true rest, I had so many things I wanted to launch and catch up on, my regular work schedule, and plans for the end of April that couldn't be moved.
And yet, how could I say no to such an awesome opportunity to create a piece of giant art.
So after talking with an artist who had already painted her giant pear, I said yes, but that I couldn’t pick up my pear until Monday.
That meant I would have only 10 days to complete my pear.
And thus begins my pear journey.
The first thing that happened was fear and anxiety started settling in asking, "Did you really just say yes?"
Comparison visited and questioned, "Do you really think you are an artist like the other people chosen?"
Doubt challenged, "Can you actually do this?"
Then I turned to creativity to help me.
In one of the lessons in the UnBLOCKing E-Course we work with our resistance using the bricks.
So I attempted to instill some belief in myself using bricks and I also did a mantra page in my art journal.
If I wanted to survive the next 10 days, I was going to have to find my courage and believe in myself.
My Pear Visual Timeline
It just fit in the back of my vehicle.
It did not fit in the door to the house.
It just fit in with the door taken off it’s hinges and got installed in my recently serendipitously re-arranged art studio.
Paint and supplies had to be selected and bought in the store and online. I do not do well making decisions quickly and with so many options. Basically, a friend and my spouse picked out the colors while I hyperventilated on the store floor and occasionally nodded my head. This picture pretty much sums up my experience.
I applied a layer of gesso to prepare the pear surface for acrylic paint.
Then, the green background layer was applied.
I drew my Zentangle outline in paint pen.
I started painting in my designs. All but one took several coats.
I outlined the zentangles with black paint pen, and drew in the leaf and stem designs. Please enjoy the orange paint on my face :) There was also paint on my feet!
I started to apply the recommended varnish and my paint pen started smudging. There is no picture as I was desperately trying to correct that area.
I made some calls.
I tried again with much more watered down than recommended varnish, and it was okay.
I was very happy.
The door was taken off its' hinges again.
Scraped the pear through the doorway as it only goes out just so. Fixed the scrapes.
Got the pear nestled safely in the car and literally it began to pour down rain.
4/19/2017 09:24:17 pm
What an incredible opportunity! Your pear is absolutely stunning! Beautiful!
4/20/2017 07:37:46 am
Thank you so much Linda!!!
4/20/2017 09:24:06 am
4/20/2017 09:50:29 am
Thank you Vangi!
4/20/2017 09:30:53 am
Lee Ann!!!!! I am unbelievably proud of you. What an absolutely stunning finished product...pearduct...anyway, amazing. Crushed, killed, buried.
4/20/2017 09:51:38 am
Pearduct. Haha yes! And thank you. I definitely bruised it :)
4/20/2017 12:14:41 pm
Oh, Lee Ann! I had no idea you were picked to paint a pear, that is SO COOL!!! What a confirmation of your flourishing artistic skills. Even someone who thought they weren't "artistic" or "creative" can overcome that mental block, hone her skills, & share them with the world! I love that about your story. And the pear looks fabulous.
4/20/2017 01:33:56 pm
You and me both and thanks for reflecting that so beautifully with words for me. Thanks Shannon!
4/20/2017 01:06:06 pm
My favorite part is the leaf. Bam! It looks amazing. Home run! You are brave and a real artist.
4/20/2017 01:31:40 pm
Thank you thank you thank you pear friend.
4/20/2017 03:52:35 pm
I am amazed. What an accomplishment. Take some time to relax, reflect and enjoy, you earned it. Love ya.
4/20/2017 08:07:39 pm
Thank you thank and will do!
12/2/2017 02:40:23 pm
What a beautiful pear! It reminds me a little of Mary Engelbreit's style, although you certainly have your own remarkable style as well. This is just lovely!
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Lee Ann Hilbrich (she/her) is an author of three books, a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator of Brené Brown's work, a Qi Gong and Yoga Teacher, and a SoulCollage® Facilitator. She is also certified in Equine-Facilitated Learning. Learning.
Lee Ann Hilbrich, MA, LPC, CDWF, RYT 200
Daring Discoveries abides by the Brené Brown Education and Research Group's Belonging Statement (Click Here to View) and is committed to inclusivity, equity, diversity, and belonging.