Friday, February 5, 2016

This is our conversation

Yellow ochre and charcoal dust seem to be permanently attached to my brush this week in the studio. The shapes are hanging around too, yet changing as I go. The charcoal lined oblong forms intersect and float above, below, and within the yellow of the canvas.

The 100x150cm canvas at rest

I start to wonder what this is all about as I go down the road before me. Does this painting even need to be about anything at all yet or can it simply be about the form, line, color and the work of my hand? There seems to be a vague idea hovering just out of reach, tempting me with its flashes.

detail from the 100x150cm canvas

If I try too hard to capture the idea, it will back away and the intuitive parts of my work seem to fade. I find myself at a productive yet slightly uncomfortable place in the studio just now. I know the drill, I just need to show up and paint. When I feel impatient or frustrated, I back away from the work for a good look and ask it questions. Sometimes, I turn my back on it entirely, spending the time in the studio cleaning and making space.

        detail from the 100x150cm canvas

When I return to the canvas, strings of words come again and there are some beautiful moments; little pieces of satisfaction scattered across the painting. I don't yet get to leave the studio with the joy of creating a whole entity. It knows how to keep me coming back for more.

detail from the 100x150cm canvas

This week, I let this be enough and it is. There have been moments of joy and wonder. There have been moments of understanding and stories whispered. The work knows I am not going anywhere. It knows I am stubborn too and that I am good at waiting. This is our conversation... 

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