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New Painting - The Avocado Tree (So Much More to Say)

Finished Work, Artwork, PaintingLaura Johnston2 Comments
Laura Johnston The Avocado Tree (So Much More to Say) 24x30" acrylic on canvas 2016

Laura Johnston
The Avocado Tree (So Much More to Say)
24x30" acrylic on canvas

I started this painting just after the new year. We’ve had construction at our house for the last several months and had to cut some large roots of our enormous avocado tree in the process. I was so worried when it first happened that I had nightmares for a few days that the tree fell over, or that all of my plants were broken apart and ruined. I feel guilty for not calling an arborist to come back out to assess again right before we cut. I’m trying to keep the mentality that what’s done is done now and have been keeping an eye on the tree, but guilt is the hardest to get over. It seems to be hanging in there and doing ok so far, though.

On top of that, our sweet dog Cody passed away a couple of weeks ago, which felt so unexpected for us. I miss him a lot; he was really the SWEETEST dog. Every person who met him loved him and wanted to take him home. His energy was just special. I’d been staring at this painting in a state of limbo for at least a week at that point, and after he passed I felt pushed to finish it or destroy it with a bold move in black.

Coming off the 365 project hasn’t been easy for my creativity either, so I’m just trying to feel my way through and find my bearings again. Lacking clarity and confidence with my work always feels so tough. At the same time, this is a cycle that I’ve gone through my entire life, so it is somewhat comforting to know that it will pass sooner or later. I hope that one day I’ll be able to embrace these downturn periods somehow, rather than stress over them.

Even though the process feels so rough sometimes and this piece came from a lot of heaviness, I actually really like it. It will be one of those that is hard to part with if the time ever comes.