|Road Through The Mountains 24"x24"|
This time instead of being captured by this familiar lurker, I caught him red handed and had a little laugh, which made him slink away. "Now what am I afraid of, this is my painting. That's a crazy thought. How could I make a mistake? And if I don't like the next mark, I can paint over it or wipe it off." But I can't tell you how many times I've been captured and thrown in the trunk by this thought. And sometimes when we look we'll see a seminal thought like this one, that has run like a long thread across the days of our lives, tying us up in little knots along the way. On how many occasions have I frozen for fear of making a mistake of some sort? See how therapeutic painting can be!
I am getting more comfortable in my exploration of abstraction. Maybe it's partly because I'm finding materials that seem to lend themselves more to what I want to translate onto the page or .... maybe I've just worn down the part of me that cares so much by painting some pretty awful stuff!
I made my own cold wax using an organic orange cleaner called Orange a-Peel. I cut up chunks of beeswax and dropped them into a jar of orange stuff the same way you would make regular cold wax. It melts into this luscious creamy goo. I must warn you this mixture is stinky, in an orange solvent sort of way but more tolerable to me than the chemical or turp based solvent ones. I bought some white oil paint that is water soluble and odourless (doesn't necessarily mean it's non toxic though) to go with the earth pigments I ordered. I am also using ash from the wood stove and some powdered milk paint. So I am the studio witch of the north, mixing up strange things to rub and brush onto my canvas. Haven't resorted to eye of newt yet (it's not vegetarian).
I have discovered I like things that look like rock and old cement floors, these natural and neutral palettes with organic and intricate patterns and textures. Go figure, but there you have it. I started looking around for what really interested me as a basis for my abstraction and that was it. I have no idea where I'm going but I feel some sense of going somewhere, if that makes any sense. For a long time it was just pure frustration, but that landscape of ennui seems to have faded in the rearview mirror (at least for now). I went to a great artist's talk last night by Jason Pollen and he said the difference between art and craft is that with a craft you know where you are going (I'm building this bird house, I'm making this quilt) but with art the final destination is unknown. And you know how that makes us feel a lot of time. We like to tie all those loose ends up and feel in control. Yes I know where I'm going, it's that little town about 100 miles away and I have a hotel reservation there tonight. Standing on the edge of the unknown is one of those valuable principles of the Dharma.
And I am lucky I still have most of my hair (this has nothing to do with orange solvent or ash from the fire). I just finished building a Wordpress website and was reminded what a low tolerance level I have for frustration. Ah, more good Dharma practice. Be civil and kind to that online support guy who is giving you advice that requires a Martian translator and tells you to read the instructions again, more carefully, this time because it's all there. But in the end I have a place to house a good sampling of my images. And it feels good to have wrestled with wordpress and won. Go have a peek here if you feel inclined.
That's about it at this end of the world. It feels like it's getting ready to rain for 40 days and 40 nights. And this has nothing to do with the American election, I'm pretty sure. What are you wrestling with these days, or smiling at?