Changing Your Mind

The last painting, “St. Gertrude, Patron Saint of Cats,” has found me less sure-footed than usual. I went from this….

“St Gertrude” Masked and in Process

To this…..

“St Gertrude” in Process

To this…..

“St Gertrude: Patron Saint of Cats” by Lynda McClanahan

….all in less than a week. The wonkiness of the face in the original painting bothered me, but since I didn’t know why, I wasn’t confident about fixing it. All my usual tricks (holding the piece up to a mirror, hauling out the ruler, masking off one side, then the other etc.) led to nothing. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced this before but maybe there’s a lesson in it. When a piece only comes together by finding its own way, you just have to let it. The original painting is more serene and icon-like, an impersonal Kore statue from ancient Greece rather than an individual person. The new one is younger, more vulnerable, more fully present and absolutely human. I’ve lost a goddess but gained a very sweet and strange person. Welcome St. Gertrude, patron saint of cats.

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