January 25, 2016: the beginning of sonnet painting 82

2016-01-25 13.36.25I woke up unsure whether I have to start the eighty second sonnet painting right away, or to spend more time on preliminary work.

The decisive moment, when I decided to forego any further preliminary studies, was this glimpse of rainbow on my shower floor. It was in this moment that I understood that the “open space” of the sonnet has to be filled with rainbow… It won’t be easy, but it will be just the right combination of two — apparently contradictory — sensations emanating from the sonnet: its contrastive background of higher, “god-like”, self, and its pretence, its superficial falsity.

There were signals of rainbow before: the couple of rainbows during the Saturday walk, and then the moment when my attention was drawn to the twentieth sonnet painting with its — not quite successful — rainbow (and the sonnet mentions “hue”, like this one). But this little funny rainbow in the small pool of water on the floor of my shower somehow drove home this idea.

I am noticing, again and again, how things I tell my students are often addressed, indirectly, to myself. As though there are some things I find it difficult to tell myself — or to “hear” if they are said to myself — but they are just as (if not more) relevant to myself. This time, it was really simple — the need for a decisive action, as the only way to overcome doubts and fears.

Pablo Picasso. The old blind guitarist.
Pablo Picasso. The old blind guitarist.

Another aspect of the painting clarified itself this morning— not quite directly, but the painting will “refer” to Picasso’s old blind guitarist, in a more “cubist” style of Picasso’s later work.

And so this sonnet painting began — very roughly, without attempting to cover the canvas during the first day, but rather to figure stuff in the process, paying attention to each colour area, stroke by stroke. It’s only a start — more days of painting this to come. In the process, the initially grey “cubist” area turned into another, darker version of the rainbow, but I am not sure how it will work out later.