The holidays are here in full force, but I’ll admit that my head is more in the studio than in wrapping packages. I’ll get the packages wrapped in time, I know, but it’ll be a last minute rush because something happened – a good thing – in the studio.
Of course, each good thing is balanced by something else, and yesterday it was balanced by knocking over a ceramic mug holding brushes in water. The mug smashed to bits on my tile floor and I was left mopping up the gray water and shards before I could get back to work. Well, Mercury is in retrograde and these things happen.
The good thing is that I began reworking the painting I posted last time (Me afraid of the axeman? Not on your life!), and the result makes me so happy that I’m off today to pick up a couple more 15 x 30 canvases to turn one painting into a triptych.
Although I had not read any of Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit in the last couple of weeks, this book has become my go-to guide, and yesterday – after the reworking – I happened on these words: “Very technically speaking, thicker paint, a fearlessness in painting over and not being afraid of spoiling in so doing, may be conducive to a development of more solidity…”
Are you listening, axeman? The painting is finished when I say it’s finished.
The other part of the good thing is that once I finished, I realized that my vertical painting had become horizontal. Now this is not just a matter of randomly turning it one way or another; this is a matter of the bricks telling Kahn what they wanted to be.
When I work with writers, I tell them to pay attention to the subconscious which often knows more than the writer about what to say and what’s happening in a poem or essay or story – things the writer may not learn for some time to come. I’ve had the experience myself with writing and now I’m learning to trust it with the art. I intend to pay attention.
I’ll be on the alert for the axeman, but as confidence builds – along with the layers of paint – and as my trust in the subconscious takes hold, I’ll do just what I do with the writing: I’ll start with a general idea of what I want to create, a general idea of the palette, a general idea of where I’m headed, but I will always – always – let the paint have the final say.
Here’s the painting I posted last time along with the final result:
I’ll wrap the packages later…
Happy holidays and creating time to all!