Saturday, December 06, 2014

evolution is not precious

Today's painting started a certain way. In the middle of change, in the muddle of doubt. It had been an interesting journey through VisualQuest, but I was in that . . . Place. You know, That Place where an artist isn't sure what to do. Looking at parts of a painting as being too Precious or wondering if it needs to be blotted out with gesso to start over again. So the artist freezes. Or better yet, let's the painting rest awhile. Maybe even puts it out of sight so that when it's back on the easel again certain directions (usually directly from an artist's Genius) are made clearly. The Puffin by the Horse's ear is a bit strange, isn't it, Dear? Perhaps we ought to change that. Yeah. She's right.

That's where I started. For too long (okay, days, at least), I felt the beings who surfaced in this painting were meant, not only to be there, but to stay. What an artist shaman learns is: No. They aren't always meant to stay. Sometimes, they need to move on. Big Horn Sheep ram, Reindeer doe and Puffin, even the creature I named Hokum, had their time on the canvas as Horse claimed the painting. In some ways, without them being there for even a few days, Horse might not have come into being at all. I might have thought (which thinking is not meant to be done here) that because I've always loved horses, Horse should be the natural choice. Then I'm painting from another place, not soul, but ego, and possibly creating an empty image of Horse. So, I let that thinking go, seeing the eyes of each figure first before they actually formed and became recognizable. Though I liked how this image was progressing, once the decision was made to flesh out these Spirit Horses, let the others go in love and layers of blue, black and white, I fell in love.

Evolution, I feel,  tosses some things out while retaining the core, the essence of a thing. Evolution in painting is more than progression. It is distillation, an Alchemy. One I'm still feeling my way through each time I'm at the easel or journal spread.

The painting at that Place . . .

Puffin disappears . . .

distilled and integrated.
A detail.

No comments: