I am trying a new “weekly structure” since the start of this year, and Tuesday is one of my days “off” — which means, one of my whole painting days. Usually, it also includes two phone conversations, but this time, both of them were cancelled, for different reasons. In the morning, therefore, the day looked like a vast expanse of space, with nothing between me and the horizon, nothing at all.
And so it began, as planned, with a full painting session. Well, not quite — I also have a morning “day creation” ritual, which includes meditation and journaling. But that aside, it was a day of painting, fully dedicated to the eighty second sonnet.
I have ambivalent feelings about this day, and its result — the intermediate stage of the eighty second painting I had achieved by the end of good lighting conditions. The process was fine, albeit with lots of struggle… but the result left me wondering. The rainbow is way more garish than I am “comfortable” with — but then again, that was the intention, the reflection of what I feel as the somewhat paradoxical quality of the sonnet. And yet not quite — I hope the future will bring some resolution of this dilemma… I feel a palpable aversion to how it looks now — but it may be the same aversion I feel towards the pretence of the poem.
And there are lots of other thing still not clarified, not found about this painting. The intended contrast between space and flatness is not there (yet). Nor are the opposing inside-outside movements. There is a strong colour contrast, all right, but I need something else, something more — something I don’t quite see yet.
I am looking back at the result, and I see what I don’t like. But what I need to see is the future version of this painting, the one I could work toward to. There is this moment in the painting process when the painting becomes too powerful, too visually overwhelming, so that its present state obscures its future. And the question always is: is this power “constructive”? Does the painting knows better than I do where it should go, or do I need to step away and clarify my own understanding of its future? I don’t know the answer yet, I’ll have to live with (and to sleep on) this question.
And I am not sure in any event whether there will be any painting tomorrow at all — whether I’ll find the time between between the “real life” and all the writing still do be done for the Art of Seeing program. But I have a feeling that this writing — the questions to be answered — will be, in a way yet not quite clear, related to the challenges I face with this painting…
All in all, I loved this day in the studio, there was a wholeness and completeness to it, but I am not satisfied with the result. I’ve left the studio with this sensation that there is a lack of clarity, a forceful imposition of something false and superficial. But as I write this, I recognise that that’s exactly what’s happening in the sonnet — and yet the result should be deeper, and more harmonious, just as the sonnet is.