Friday, December 9, 2011

Same Old Stuff

Working on a new pastel image, “Rise;” feeling good about the colors, the layout and how I’m inspired to show it to the wife (funny how, no matter how old I am, I still go back to "mommy” for approval). She makes it downstairs, asks, “That’s what you’re working on?” I say “yes,” and she says, “looks like everything else you’ve done.” Slight ouch!

See, this is a work of heart, comes from my allowing my spirit to commune with God. So, hearing that is more of the “same old” (yes, sorely tempted to use Jean-Michele Basquiat’s aka SAMO), I sat quietly with my disappointment.

I’m slow, takes time to process stuff, so going to bed, these thoughts in the back of my head, I looked at the rendering with fresh, morning eyes: same old stuff…THAT’S GREAT! I have a style! Now mind you, she’s right, and mind you, she’s wrong. When I work on something from the heart, typically the image is completely abstract expressionist. This image began with the central figure, the lady seemingly stretching and rising. Never mind, she isn’t anatomically correct, this isn’t about capturing or rendering precision and the body ideal, the image is my expression. The colors are me.

I can’t speak for other artists, only me, when I say, so often inspiration, an idea comes to mind and in the process of developing the image, I begin laying down the sketch of that idea. Sometimes, there isn’t an idea in mind, just a need to render. I lay down pastel, oil paint or charcoal and it’s shape begins to appear. Often, as I’m rendering, other colors or textures, and brush strokes come to mind. Progressing through an image, it’s like having a plate of food before me, full of the best seasoned, best prepared morsels I’ve ever tasted and every bite is like a symphony in my mouth. If there’s good music playing, the combination of music and food brings me to a personal dance. That’s what happens when I stand or sit in front of a work.

Is it all the same? Oh, if you only knew, if it were possible to explain how I am moved to render! Maybe in time, with practice, I can move away from the ‘technical’ aspect of describing a brush stroke, but for now, please accept this explanation: in those moments, it is as if God and I were speaking to one another, completing one another’s sentence and laughing at one another’s jokes. Hope that helps to understand this sense of JOY!