"Stories are medicine. I have been taken with stories since I heard my first. They have such power; they do not require that we do, be, act anything - we need only listen."
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
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.