I love people that are passionate. It’s refreshing to meet folks that are “into something”! For the most part passionate people are interesting and engaging. My husband is one of those people. Once he takes an interest in something, there’s no stopping the vast amount of research and knowledge that he can consume. He educates me and we have delightful conversations filled with strange facts and cool ideas.

So I’m dedicating this blog to one of his latest “animal loves.”  I decided I would paint this creature as a partial surprise for my husband Ken, meaning, that I would let it develop a bit before he would see it. 

Additionally, I thought it might interest you to take a closer look at my creative process on this creature and the dialogue about how it should look:

Passion unfolding in 9 steps:

Step 1: it doesn’t look like much, the creative process is ever so disturbing.

What's Your Passion?

Step 2: I sketched him in…but forgot to take a photo. That’s what happens when you get carried away, you just jump in–Passion!

NO PHOTO Available

Step 3: Laying in some values of lights and darks.
What's Your Passion?

Step 4: Getting garishly bright! Have you guessed what he is?
What's Your Passion?

Step 5: As you can see from above, our little creature had a purple mouth, but now I’ve darkened it. 

The plot thickens, Ken views him, he likes him BUT said that he looked like he had bit of an unfriendly mouth. Naturally, we had many interesting discussions about making creatures in our own image!! What's Your Passion?

Step 6: Did you get it right? This creature is a Red Panda! Here is a picture of the real thing, and he doesn’t look all that friendly to me. But there are many cute pics of this mammal as well: What's Your Passion?

Step 7: Well, after all it was Ken’s picture so I had to make him a lot more loveable! Can you see the change in him?

What's Your Passion?

Step 8: OK, now we’ve got some background painted, a bit too bright though, our smiling Red Panda needs to be the star:
What's Your Passion?

Step 9: Finally, here he is in the flesh, no I mean in pastel! The creative process is long, arduous, filled with many twists and turns and lots of changes too.  It’s great to be around someone that stimulates and challenges you and that’s what happened during this painting.

What's Your Passion?

© Laura Gabel, “Red Panda 2”. Pastel on UArt, 16 x 13. Private Collection.

I was passionate about doing a good painting but not consumed. Being consumed by something, anything isn’t truly healthy. What do I mean? It’s easy to idolize something you’ve made, done or admire.  But the Bible, with good reason cautions us keep away from anything that might take God’s place in our hearts (1 John 5:21). At least for me, when He is first place in my life, everything else falls into place.

What do you think about passionate interests versus all consuming passions? Do you like Ken’s Red Panda? Did you guess correctly?



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