Yesterday was the fifth day of daily painting for me, and the conclusion of my first week focusing on it for 4-6 hours a day.
I spent that time alone. Which is scary -- when was the last time you came up against yourself, completely alone with your paintbrush?
It has been so amazing, sharing this journey with all of you, reading your comments on how you get it , want to paint more, get stuck, thrash against Resistance. As artists, we going through many births in our lives, our styles changing as we claw our way into that onion that is our Souls, peeling back layers with paint-covered fingers. It is that yearning, that need to know more, that keeps us going, curiosity throwing us into the sea of our own selves. We want more . We want to go deeper , and share how we experience life on the canvas or page or with clay or papers.
Here's what I've learned about myself & my process this week:
- Every time I have to make that next mark and can't make the decision, I jump for my phone to check random social media or my email. This is Resistance. I get uncertain and run away. I've started running less and less, or structure my time away from the canvas, and am getting more confident with my own expression.
- I can't listen to the radio while working. It influences my work too much, sways my mood with the words. It also annoys me. The best thing for me? Movies or shows playing on my iPad. I don't actively watch them, but the dialogue and story comforts me without influencing me as I paint.
- I get too wrapped up in shading things "realistically." I actually chatted with a couple of you over on Instagram about this; despite knowing my style, wanting to be free, and having a vision in my head or instincts that say otherwise, I feel as though things don't look right or aren't done "correctly" unless I shade them right. This is bullshit. Excuse the language, but it's the best word for it. Why can't we simply paint what makes us happy, follow our instincts, and allow things to be ? I am trying to let go of this the best I can -- when I started doing portraits, I was very precise and technical, but now... Let's dismiss this silly notion of perfection or reality or what makes things "acceptable." I have a beautiful watercolor of a girl playing the guitar up where I work to remind me that simple = beautiful. And I'll leave complicated paintings to others.
- In the silence, I found more of myself. Sometimes, I'd simply sit and think . I'd doodle in my sketchbook all the thoughts in my head and things I'd experienced in my life. Happy and sad. I had the room to figure out how I truly felt and was able to work through some more complicated emotions. Funnily enough, the big painting I'm working on? Her hair is the same color as mine. Wonder if there's a reason for that... ;)
Many nights, I didn't want to go home, despite being exhausted. I wanted to stay and play and paint and keep going. I thought this was going to be a week-long experiment. Now? I am sure I'll be spending three days a week there painting, either in my art journal or on canvas. It's so revealing. And I've let go of that notion that everything that I paint has to be done and a print and a painting....they can be bad. It's about the journey I'm making while being there!
Years ago, I read an interview with Teesha Moore where she suggested you go an entire day without talking to anyone else and spend it in your art journal. At the time, I didn't think much of it. But now? I think she's onto something!
So here are the action shots from yesterday. They're still unfinished, but I'm now confident they won't stay that way for long!
One last thing: a couple of you asked about the faux-stitching I did on the other paintings....here's an iPhone video of how I did it!