What if:

Aug 21, 2018

So I asked myself the question: 

"What if…" 

and the response that followed was: 

"I painted the way I wanted". 

I had to ask myself. "Are you not? Are you not painting the way you want? Why is that?"

I’d done a series in the late winter that I embraced and enjoyed doing because it was so very different for me. Using line and shape, a geometric cross over from landscape to abstract. It was a challenge but I enjoyed it.

My series for an upcoming show is created in a similar vein, because I wasn’t finished exploring that avenue, that line of inquiry so I carried on. My new series is almost done,… in that, there are 10 paintings with clear direction and a few of them complete. Some small some much larger. But there’s a couple of stragglers and I’ve had a tough time with them. They go in one direction I want them, then in another. They then go that way and I want them to go this way. It’s baffling.

"What do you want?" I ask them: "Who do you want to be?"

So I asked myself the question this morning, “What if…" 

"What if you did what you wanted, painted the way you wanted, how would that be then?

The answer…: "I would scribble".

"Scribble!? What’s that going to give you? And why? Are you frustrated? Or are you trying to get back to someone so innocent and free. Someone who’s got something special to tell you but you have to scribble to hear her."

I took a large painting for the show that has worn many faces so far,… for a few days,… before her look changed again. And again. I took this painting, knowing I’d be happily saying goodbye to yet another face on her plane.

I stood there for a while and then decided to take out some calm, maybe even bland favourite colours that I’d discovered back in March. And away I went. Big strokes, slathers of paint, swirling, scraping, scribbling into the wet paint. 

“Hold,… hold your nerve. Hold,… keep your “I” on the goal.

I painted away. I brought it to a place where,… I fell in love. Such relief. I felt a sigh in my body during the whole painting session. Now I walked away. Lunch time. Breathe. Come back and you might hate it. But I came back with more courage and bravely set forth with the exploration and discovery of a child. I continued on the adventure,

 THIS is the way I like to paint! This is me. This is the curious one, the risky one, where caution flies out the door and dancing begins. Wow, this is so much fun! I love this kind of experience! This painting will sit beautifully among the more complex pieces for my Sept show. This one reminds me that I love to try new things. I love the adventure. The discovery. This one I named in advance for the submission,… aptly called “Extraordinary Experiences”. Did I get that right!

This is such a reflection of who I am on the inside. I often find my biggest challenge in painting,… is me. Me gets in the way of me. Go figure. I can see this in so many places in my life as well. Issues that pop up in my studio, have already popped up before, in my day to day life. They just wear a different outfit. A different face.

It’s amazing how much art can give you. And teach you. All because of the simple question of “What if”, then the “one inside” really gets a chance to be heard.

If this resonates with you at all, I’d love to hear of your fruitful experiences and how you triggered those to come forward. Just leave your thoughts in the comments field below. Thanks for joining me today on this artists' journey.

PJC Studio Notes: