Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Painting in Progress

48" x 60" acrylic on panel board

Learning to live comfortably with the unknown. As soon as I slip into a tried and true method or a way of painting that I am comfortable with I also feel boredom. Boredom becomes a barometer of my level of commitment to pushing the boundaries of what I know. It is so easy to just ride on what I have already learned in painting/life (the two are interchangeable) and not push forward to new places, so much more comfortable but alas the painting won't allow this for long. There are times in the studio when I sincerely wish painting wasn't such a damn struggle. I know how hard my whole being is working to silence my ever chattering mind and allow what already exists to emerge unhindered onto the canvas. I need to be present for this, I cannot be lost in thoughts about how am I ever going to survive doing this? How is my daughter doing in school? What am I going to cook for dinner? Will anyone actually like this painting? I must just show up and paint. As soon as I enter the studio, the scent of paint stills these thoughts but I still pace around in circles and fiddle with brushes and tools for a time before I am focused and present enough to approach the canvas with the first tentative strokes of the day, at first there is confusion, struggle, wanting it to look a certain way...and THEN, the magic happens and we start to sing together! I stop resisting, trying to lead, being in control and I follow the paint. Sometimes I am led down scary paths, often imagery from my dreams crops up, I try and just hold onto these images and not think about them. I don't always like what emerges but soon liking or not liking falls away as well and there is just the paint, the colors, the textures, the forms and we dance with each other. As in life, surrender and trust are an implicit part of this process.

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