Friday, October 26, 2012

Painting a Life

I decided to paint something.

I like the feel of painting--the immediate satisfaction as you watch the strokes hit the canvas.

When I picked up the paint brushes, I wasn't even sure what brush to start with. I just let the paint hit and if it was off balance, I'd balance it with another color. I had all the colors out. It started as a horizontal color exploration. I let the colors ease in from both sides. Then I started blocking, because I liked how the squares looked. But it wasn't right.

I was feeling really unsatisfied with my work. I had this desire to plan it out and make it be something, but it wouldn't let me. The painting had to evolve through chaos. The ultimate form had to arise from something else--without manipulation.

I thought about my own life. I would like very much to script certain aspects of my life and to dictate how it will arise. It's not that I don't work on my life--I work very hard--but rather than choosing specific paths that will give rise to a specific picture perfect life--I am dabbling in color, stringing random blocks of white, and ultimately seeking balance.

I decided to throw in a random blue triangle. Then a purple one. Then I decided to patch in some yellows. Then red. At about 9pm, I had this strange urge to paint something big and yellow above the triangles. I liked swooping. So I just swooped. And swooped. I swooped in the triangles. I decided I wanted to do something between the triangles. But I couldn't imagine what. I started to dot paint in purple, blue and green. I let the dots sit for a bit then took my thinnest brush and swirled. I swirled until everything mixed together in this circle. Then I swirled in white. Then I dabbed the sides with red clouds.

There was no design. I simply followed the pattern as it emerged. This isn't to say that painting with a purpose is bad. But I tend to live my life in this way. I want so much to be able to find a clear design, but each layer of experience builds on the other and gives way to a design beyond what I could have imagined.

I'm really happy with it. And my good friend has already bought it from me. I'm really happy it is going to a good home.

So here it is:

Despite the turmoil of it's beginnings, it ended up being a lovely painting.  Someday, I hope the same can be said of me!

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