"Humble Beginnings" is is a painting about potential, perseverance and hard work. So naturally it is also a good metaphor for the creative process. All big things have small beginnings. Everything that makes the giant oak is already contained inside a single acorn. It's the same with art; you start with a simple idea or vision. In this case I wanted to paint a Eurasian jay. A beautiful woodland bird, most commonly seen in autumn and known to be a habitual acorn hoarder. They even call it "Jay of the Oaks" in French. Suddenly an image of a jay sitting on the roots of a mighty oak popped into mind. I realized the potential of my idea, the deeper meaning of such a simple scene. Time to grab the sketchbook and lay down the visual foundation.
Even the biggest paintings start with tiny thumbnail sketches. This is the critical phase where you start to figure out the composition of your painting, what's the best way to arrange all the elements in order to get your message across. If done well, this thumbnail is your ticket to a successful painting.
But it's still a long road from thumbnail to framed canvas. This is where perseverance and hard work come in. The acorn that grows into a mighty oak is one that has to handle struggle and hard times. I love the process of painting, but it does require willpower when you come across unforeseen obstacles. Stay true to your vision, trust the process. Don't get lost in details but stay focused on the picture as a whole. Let the tiny acorn be a reminder that the difficulties we incur help us grow strong. Great things always start small, so embrace beginnings and take joy in the journey.