Saturday, August 2, 2008

on slowing down

Watercolor 1
acrylics and watercolors on paper
This painting is how late summer feels to me - like being woken out of a deep sleep, where you are still partially dreaming and slowly emerging into yourself, fully awake.

I will sit down to paint with something completely different in mind, and somehow she finds her way into my next painting. I draw, and paint, this girl and others like her often. There is something about the face, the eyes, the questioning look, the floating hair... the surreal space created in the work.... I don't know.
Some images call to me, wake me from sleep, and compel me to draw, to paint, to sculpt... to create. But mostly, it is a slow process courting these images in my mind, and translating them onto canvas. I know they are there, but they want to emerge into this world slowly and softly, colors, images words and feelings floating in and out of my mind, like dreams, the work reinventing itself constantly.

You can choose to ignore this part, and force the work to be something you want it to be, to complete it faster, to push it into a smaller existence because of frustration and impatience.

Often I do.

Every brush stroke is a decision, every blot of color, ever nuance and shift of the body while painting, every thought, every breath, every blink changes the flow with which a painting is created. It is both easy and difficult, and very Zen, painting. It is seductive and sweet and cruel, and everything, and nothing, that I have ever imagined. There are moments when everything is perfect... and then when I feel like nothing will ever work again.
Every single day.

I paint anyway.

It feels that in these moments I am growing, expanding, becoming something more, or waking and being someone new. One idea carries me to the next, one image to the next, one thought to the next... but in my impatience I miss the subtleties... I am too busy with trying to force what I want, what I think is best... As if painting were about my ego.

I repeat myself, little blog, often.
I have to talk myself through things like this... try and make them make sense. I am starting to recognize everything I do more, and slow myself down. A lot of painting is about the mindset I am in.
Everything feels larger and difficult to grasp, and still, I paint anyway.

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