January 11, 2010

Must Be Present to Win

I was “stuck” in a painting which at some point during the creation of a piece is often the case. I wondered if I could get beyond that point of stuckness (yes, spellcheck, I know). Stopping, looking, wondering, thinking, and pulling up all the usual questions and answers I have on hand did not work.

Then I remembered my treasured move; one that comes so naturally I don’t usually have to think about it but for some reason the idea escaped me this time. Until now. It is my “must be present to win” trick. This is where I stop everything that is happening around me. No music, no interruptions, no food, no water, nothing except me and the painting. I start the stare-down and wait for it to happen. At the perfect moment, I jump in. I mean IN. I am not referring to plein air painting, when one stands next to what is being painted. I am talking about getting inside the painting. I must stand (in) there and be in that space to produce that feeling of co-existence with my painting, like wake-dreaming, and I know when I have arrived because all of a sudden the dust starts flying (or the brushes) and I can’t move fast enough! And then something happens. A phone rings, a dog barks, a fog horn howls in the distance and I stop. Realizing it is two hours later is thrilling but realizing my piece has painted itself is even more so. So, jump in, because in my opinion, you absolutely must be present to win and the thrill is, well, pure addiction.