how to exit a painting so another can get born
Good painting comes from the pure pleasure of touching paint and moving it with brushes and pallet knives, mixing it to the exact color range of cools and warms. (I was unable to touch paint for a few months even though I was always drawing. I don’t always have paint, but I do always have crayons). This new painting is, in equal increments, full of both struggle and search, lost and found; back and forth like that, I feel like I am at a construction site digging earth and then building earth back up again, carving my way through to the other side. I am still fine tuning this very same painting; it’s has moved along as far as it possibly can, I believe, but then, with fresh eyes the next day, I see yet more to do to pull the painting together even more. As I make these minor changes, major ones are affected and get repainted, so this painting has not released me yet. I could thrive on this canvas for the rest of my life, (just as monks did in Florence at the Academia, painting on the walls of their cells all their ‘praying lives),’ but I want to travel to another country, to explore new ideas that rise up in my ‘dream-sleep. ‘ I always feel so free when I begin a new painting. (I must like being completely lost, because I keep choosing this behavior: thus, a life time spent searching for an image all over again). The success of the last painting in no way helps with the new one, as there are a whole new set of explorations with which to hackle. Once I locate a particular light through the colors, the ideas become engaging ‘en route:’ I just hang around in order to follow their pathways. It is always a color problem that gets me in gear. The color creates the shape, rather than the shape that then becomes a color. Imagine sets of colors, then, that become a whole new place in which to thrive and wonder, a place so compelling that there is no where else I want to be, (until it is time to move on again)!