11" x 18" watercolor on paper
I took photos of Cooper in February. I knew I would not get to working on his portrait for a month or so and relayed that to the client. Time opened up for me to start work on his portrait. Work was distracted by various happenings in life AND lots of difficulties in laying out the drawing. After awhile, I set the project aside to get some perspective. Another month went by and I felt pressured to complete the portrait. This time, I acknowledged that my will was not going to be any motivating force. I had to let go of what I wanted and what the client wanted and allow Cooper to direct his portrait and timing. Once I realized this and became a "follower", the drawing and, finally, the painting flowed easily. I delivered the portrait the following week. The client then told me Cooper had died the previous Saturday -- the day after I completed the portrait!
I learned a lot from Cooper. I learned that creativity flows when I listen and don't force; the animal has a lot to say about the process and the product; and I am the conduit for them to express who they are visually.