Today I started a new painting. What a relief. The time between paintings is difficult for me. I am learning that it is an important time, when ideas are gestating. However, if it goes on too long I begin to think I am not really an artist, and have no actual talent, and should try to get a proper job.
It is actually less than a month since the last painting, but it feels much longer. I had been repeatedly drawn to the subject I am now painting for most of that time, then dismissing it by thinking 'I have no idea why I want to paint that, it wouldn't work'. This morning I had a kind of semi dream that I was lifting a layer off this subject, kind of like a piece of clear plastic, and immersing myself in what was underneath. It was time to begin.
I knew what was attracting me was the depth of the green colours, and the contrast they made with the light colours of the antirrhinum blooms, but I couldn't understand why. It was only when I moved from my mind into my feelings by imagining how it would be to dive into the green space that I found the motivation to paint. By opening on an emotional level that I could understand with my mind what I was going to paint.
It took me quite a while to pluck up the courage to break the clean white of the canvas. The blooms have half gone to seed, and I was unsure how it would work. In the end I knew I just had to trust in that call of the green space, like a deep pool of water. So I dived in, and it was a lovely cooling experience, even though it was a sunny day. When I paint it is as if I am self healing. It is as if a healing energy is released and I can feel it dispersing blocks in my body. I feel very connected to my body and my surroundings, to the extent that it feels like they are the same thing. It is a very peaceful feeling.
This painting started very abstract, and is gradually building into something more detailed. I love it when a painting forms in this way. It is as if it has a life of its own, and I'm just holding the brush so it can put itself on canvas. I love drawing the paint on the canvas into ever more refined marks, and watching how the colours mix into the shapes and lines. There is something very liberating about it.