Going in Circles

For so long, I would start a painting with such enthusiasm, get off to a promising start. In my first energetic marks I could always see exciting potential! But doubt took a firmer and fiercer hold as I would move forward. Worry infested my strokes, sucking the life out of my brushwork.

In this situation uncertainty rises, frustration increases, and sothe result will invariably disappoint. For years, my paintings have got stuck at this same place. I learned to work around this, and made most of my paintings fast and fresh, en plein aire.

This has kept me from developing a richer, layered approach to painting. From working larger, from developing visual sophistication. From moving into the unknown. I’m tackling this now.

Wandering and wondering.

A sister CVP artist Isabelle Alessandra posted the process of this painting:

“My initial draw to precision comes from my bazillion hours on the ice as a figure skater… We had to execute perfect figures etched into the ice in a single edge line from our blade as possible. … my sense of precise lines with loose lines is deeply ingrained.”

Successive versions of a painting by Isabelle Alessandra. See a video about this painting here.

how we move in the world

Maybe how we move in the world is how we move paint! This may explain my meandering path in life and art. Right now my paintings are full of confusion, uncertainty, overflowing with irrepressible unfolding patterns, leaves & feathers, rocks, rivers, streams & maps.

My painting has been haunted by mental noise like “is it any good?” or “do you like this?” I want to shake free of this!

The way of moving I’ve loved most is when I’m in the wild woods. I move and perceive like a wild creature. I’m deeply, calmly and vividly alert, quiet but poised for motion. How can I bring that into my painting practise?

I want that curious momentum that I see in Isabelle’s process. And I’m learning the skills I need to go there. I’m so grateful for my colleagues in CVP and all the sharing of process and struggle and breakthrough.

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