Birds of a Feather

Last week we had a power failure. I’d been updating several pages on the Internet and it came to a sudden stop as my modem lost power. Two hours later, with several candles lighting up the living room, as my family decided to call it bedtime the power flickered back on. Short lived though. The power went back out and stayed that way until sometime in the middle of the night.

I went to my laptop in the morning and tried charge my MP3. I didn’t get anything. No power going to the MP3. I tried to turn my computer on. It wouldn’t boot, just beeped twice and gave me a black screen with an error. If there’s anything more scary than the infamous “Blue Screen of Doom” it’s the “Black Screen of Death.” Even with as much IT work as I do, I don’t claim to know everything about computers. I knew this was bad. In the nearly 10 years I’ve been doing computer support as part of “what I do” I’ve never had to go get physical repairs for any of my systems.

I took my computer to Tek-Hut. I’ve referred many people to them when I didn’t think I had the knowledge or had the time to solve a problem, but I’d never actually used them myself. First time for everything. They prepared me for the worst though it was something I suspected — that I’d fried the motherboard.

I went the night without my laptop. I kept reaching for it so I could do some work, but it wasn’t there. Awkward!

Tek-Hut discovered that I’d bent a pin in a broken USB port down and it was shorting itself out. When they bent the pin back up the computer worked just fine. I knew that every referral I’d given them over the years was well worth it.

The whole episode has thrown this week off. I’d gotten into a groove of writing posts and uploading pictures to my various sites, reading my e-mails as they came in, reading my favorite blogs, etc. Nothing has been on track since the night of the blackout. So, this is me trying to get back on track.

Earlier in the week, I started this painting:

Untitled Painting (at this point) <br>16x12 Acrylic on canvas board<br> © 2009 Dawn Blair
Untitled Painting (at this point)
16x12 Acrylic on canvas board
© 2009 Dawn Blair

This is typically how I block in paintings like Fantasy Path, The Evergreens, and my newly listed painting, Fire Sunset Path. However, my son told me how much it looked like the eye from Pokemon’s Giratana giant dragon. Of course, then I had to look at it differently. I flipped the painting over and saw this:

Untitled Painting flipped<br>16x12 Acrylic on Canvas<br> © 2009 Dawn Blair
Untitled Painting flipped
16x12 Acrylic on Canvas
© 2009 Dawn Blair

Now doesn’t that look the eye of a colorful bird, like a phoenix or something? I’m tempted to finish it out as a close-up painting of a bird. I feel it’s outside the scope of “what I do.” But if you don’t step outside your comfort zone, how do you grow? If I had not panicked at my preconceived notions of the black screen and actually taken a look at my computer, would I’ve seen the bent USB pin and been able to fix my computer myself?

What do you think? Do you let your paintings guide you, even if that starts to take you down another path or a little outside your style? If a voice holds strong in painting, how varied between subjects can an artist go? Let me know your thoughts.

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