≡ Menu

Shaking Off a Demon



This painting had a life of its own.





And I knew right away this would be my entry to this week’s Paint Party Friday.




Without any type of plan I ended up with 5 stacks of circles.  And there is sat, waiting.  Up to this point it happened as I turned off my mind and just got paint on the canvas.  No worries, no plan, just freedom to paint.

Then it sat- frozen.  I decided not to fight it and just let it sit on the easel for days. I thought about adding a bit here and there but it never felt right.  And then a few more days.  Finally, I decided it was either going to be finished or it was going to move to the stack of works in progress.


I stared, I glared, I almost gave up.  Then it hit me- try drawing some loose figures in it.  What could it hurt?  My trepidation about drawing people, since “I can’t draw people” has been a frequent phrase in my head in recent years, almost stopped me.  I was using a water soluble pencil so I could wash it off if it was horrible so nothing to lose and it turned out lots to gain.



I started sheepishly in one corner and then it just took over- that same freedom I feel when I have paint or ink in my hand reappeared.  As I drew the figures the story the painting had locked inside it revealed itself to me.

While traveling I have been blessed to see some amazing sites.  One thing that seems to take my breath away is the scale of places such as Karnak in Egypt, Stonehenge, the Parthenon…These people are dwarfed by the stacked circles  just like I feel when looking at the treasures of the past.

As I finished this piece I realized at long last I’d shaken off a demon- the demon of “I can’t draw people”.  What a rush!

Linking up with Show and Tell Saturday.

{ 50 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • Cowgirl Red September 6, 2012, 9:47 pm

    Demon ….. get behind me. HaHa. Yes you can draw them. These colors and shapes really draw me into the painting. Terah

  • Cynthia September 6, 2012, 10:20 pm

    Love the colors, love the scale! And I’m really loving those stacked circles. 🙂

  • Janet September 6, 2012, 10:38 pm

    Awesome! I like it when a piece tells you what it wants. It looks great!

  • Rinda September 6, 2012, 11:56 pm

    Very cool! I’ve been painting and overworking things all day!
    Need to pick something and post it soon.

  • Carin September 7, 2012, 1:16 am

    Love this so much Carolyn! Both the painting and the “shaking off the demons”. So happy for you.

  • Marja September 7, 2012, 4:06 am

    A demon?? (I understand that feeling, so have I) Of course you can draw them, it’s beautiful and colorful.
    Lovely greet

  • Carol September 7, 2012, 7:22 am

    Wow! Bravo ~ Figures you can draw! ~ Colorful and creative painting ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  • Corrine September 7, 2012, 7:27 am

    Great figures and those colorful stacked circles, yup, demon definitely banished. xox

  • Kat September 7, 2012, 7:54 am

    Carolyn this is another gorgeous piece of yours, so very your style and colors, you’ve had plenty of fun with this one and it shows, love it!

  • Christine September 7, 2012, 9:13 am

    It’s very cheerful, nice work!

  • Susan September 7, 2012, 9:34 am

    Oh, such wonderful, vibrant colors! One would never know you were shaking off demons. By the way, I know that demon…personally! Happy PPF!

  • Mary C. Nasser September 7, 2012, 10:07 am

    Love the combination of texture and transparency!
    Really want to touch the surface of your paintings! 🙂
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  • Valerie-Jael September 7, 2012, 10:10 am

    Great painting, and it did you got, that really is something! Valerie

  • lynn cohen September 7, 2012, 11:25 am

    What a wonderful story of accomplishment and self satisfaction. I like your interpertation of comparing it to Stonehenge. Yes, been there, and one does feel dwarfed by the enormity and unbelievablity of it all. Yes, you drew people. Keep doing it! I see them walking around those towers and out into the world!


  • Marji September 7, 2012, 1:01 pm

    Yay for you for shaking off a demon. It feels great, doesn’t it!? Not only did you shake it off you sent it away forever! I think your painting is wonderful and the human element that you added makes it even better. Beautiful. Happy PPF

  • soulbrush September 7, 2012, 2:00 pm

    Ho interesting, love the brightness of them. Happy PPF

  • Faye September 7, 2012, 2:44 pm

    You certainly CAN draw people, Carolyn. Love how you’ve placed them in your finished work. Also, the colors are bold and beautiful.

  • Jessica September 7, 2012, 3:37 pm

    love the colors, love the circles, love the people, love the process. xo!

  • Tracey Fletcher King September 7, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Love the figures and the journey you took to get there… we all have our nemesis things to draw and paint…. for me it is animals… they completely freak me out… love this work and glad you beat your fear…xx

  • Kay Wallace September 7, 2012, 6:38 pm

    This morning while visiting Julie Balzer’s blog (as is part of my morning routine), I was reminded that that site is where I found Carolyn Dube–and I am so grateful! I find artists that just pick up a pencil or pen or paint brush and make it happen to be astonishing. But you are not that artist, Carolyn. You are the artist who amazes me when she picks up a pencil or pen or paint brush and says, “OK…what do I do now?” And, then, you make it happen. Your brilliant work comes from your head, from your heart, from your experiences, even from your fears and desires. It is not a natural talent, but one that you have created by persevering…but picking up a pencil and saying, “Today, I will draw a person!” Three cheers for Carolyn! You are my inspiration!

  • Maria McGuire September 7, 2012, 6:56 pm

    Oh…believe me my friend you can draw people 🙂

  • Andrea September 7, 2012, 8:28 pm

    You did a great job on the people, a perfect touch!

  • Anne September 7, 2012, 8:49 pm

    I love it when that happens! It’s amazing when the artist is so open that the paint just flows and the picture appears without interference from the mind.

    Awesome painting!


  • Melisa September 7, 2012, 9:22 pm

    Now that’s a great way to get rid of a demon. You certainly CAN draw people and I hope you continue to do it!

  • Paula - Buenos Aires September 7, 2012, 10:43 pm

    Good riddance! 😀
    Those stacks look like something I would wear. 🙂

  • FranT September 8, 2012, 12:32 am

    what a wonderful painting , great post Carolyn! I fear but with materials. I want so bad to actually paint an entire work on canvas with acrylics and I am completely frozen. I have all the ‘stuff’ but my go-to materials are always microns and watercolors. I always turn to them. I took a baby step no long ago and tried gouache. woohoo! LOL After reading this MAYBE I’ll break out my acrylics this weekend, who knows…

  • Anne September 8, 2012, 6:40 am

    Very striking and interesting! Love the heavy texture and bright colors with the shadowy people, really like the close up on top, too! HPPF!

  • Mary M. September 8, 2012, 8:02 am

    I love your art Carolyn! I have been fallowing you for a while, but never commented. I get so happy when I see you in my inbox!

  • NatashaMay September 8, 2012, 8:39 am

    Love the bright colors and the little people emerging. 🙂

  • MissyK September 8, 2012, 9:31 am

    You’ve done a great job of beating your demon!!!

    I love the bright colours and the ant sized people….

  • Ayala Art September 8, 2012, 4:42 pm

    I love your people in there!! Xo)

  • Marjie Kemper September 8, 2012, 4:45 pm

    Tell that “I Can’t” Demon to hit the highway if he ever shows his face again…. you have such a way with color and layers… you can do ANYTHING!

  • Arnoldo L. Romero September 8, 2012, 5:20 pm

    I love it!!! The vibrant colors and all those people’s silhouettes are just amazing. Blessings!

  • Terri September 8, 2012, 7:33 pm

    Hi Carolyn. Thanks for coming by and leaving a sweet message about Syca on MorningDewdrops blog. I’m glad you finished this piece; you can draw people; I didn’t draw my first person until six months or so ago. I like the symbolism in your work too. Oh, and I’m following you on Pinterest and have already re-pinned. Hope you will do the same. I have a FB page that I created last weekend that needs some love in case are ever on FB and care to like it. Hope we can stay connected. Blessings Terri http://www.facebook.com/MorningDewdrop1

  • Evelyn Yee September 8, 2012, 9:35 pm

    Fabulous colours – and yes, great to have shaken off the demon. Hope you are having a nice weekend, ev

  • Natasha September 8, 2012, 9:43 pm

    I love my watersoluble pencil, one of the most useful tools to see if an idea is going to work or not, without doing anything that is too irreparable. I love the emergence of the figures…

  • jane w. September 8, 2012, 10:07 pm

    awesome! always love what u do 🙂

  • Kathy September 8, 2012, 10:35 pm

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the figures you drew onto the colorful background!!! Ah!

  • aimee September 9, 2012, 12:10 am

    i love how it turned out! what a delight!

  • Carol Samsel September 9, 2012, 12:27 am

    Doesn’t it feel great to shake off a demon or two now and then? Love the painting!!!

  • Ritu Dua September 9, 2012, 3:08 am

    Wonderful painting and the post also is quite interesting …and bright as the colors you have chosen!

  • Linda Starr September 9, 2012, 1:38 pm

    Both paintings are so uplifting and the stacks of circles really are wonderful because of their repetition

  • Lori September 9, 2012, 6:48 pm

    I really like your work – so full of colour and energy. And of course, happy! You might like to share your more orange work on Mandarin Orange Monday (meme for orange art and photo art).

  • Gloria J Zucaro September 9, 2012, 9:03 pm

    You did it! That’s great! It amazes me the way paintings “talk” to their artist!

  • annie! September 9, 2012, 9:38 pm

    Awesome! I loved it without the people…but they make is JUST right.

  • denthe September 10, 2012, 12:52 am

    Those colours are so sparkling! Good on you for not giving up!

  • Lori September 11, 2012, 11:18 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your lovely orange work on Mandarin Orange Monday:)

  • Chris September 13, 2012, 6:32 pm

    Wonderful work!

  • Pauline Leger September 13, 2012, 7:29 pm

    Carolyn, isn’t it fabulous!? You absolutely CAN draw people!! i just love your vibrant colors and the way you just let the art happen. You never seem to force much of anything, and the end result is always impressive and natural. Beautiful! Love the new banner, btw! xox

  • Tina W. October 22, 2012, 1:41 pm

    Great job! Thanks for sharing the process for getting to such a good end.