It’s not a real “Studio Journal” entry, because I haven’t been in the studio — well, almost.
One event in the studio I want to record nonetheless — however brief it was — because it felt like a glimpse of the future. The future of the very first “Sonnets in Colour” composition, which I had been reworking since June at least, and then abandoned at some point. At some level, it was a decision that the composition is complete; at another, though, I still knew that that’s not what it ought to be. That it isn’t really working — but rather falls apart. Most of these struggles aren’t even recorded in my “internal”, in-progress, photos (this picture reflects the very beginning of this re-work).
I had a deeper look at it over this long weekend away from the studio — and then this glimpse, this blue echo from the future, happened. I knew the direction I’ve got to take it in — and this, I think, will form the core of this Studio Journal in the few coming days at least.
This three-day pause in the painting process bothers me, though. One reason for that is, of course, my work on my online course (it’s third “module”, which basically completes the heavy writing for this program). But there has been also a lot of walking in the parks — and simply being, listening, resting into existence.
I still have a hard time believing the darkness, the depth of — I don’t know what: was it a crisis? A depression? A bout of exhaustion — whatever it was, I can hardly believe I could have gone through this time basically without noticing it. And only the dismal record of painting “output” remains as a reminder of these months. The lack of photo record, for me, stands as a sign that I just didn’t want to see where I was. This journal is perhaps an attempt to prevent this from happening again; if I find myself in this dark wood, I want at least walk through it why my eyes open.
Now, as though awakening from a long illness, I paint less (but more “to the point”) and walk more. And these walks sometimes seem like even more important “studio events” than whatever happens in the studio. A long walk in Coyote Hills park on Saturday, for example, along its Bay View trail, with sky in all the subtleties of multicoloured grey, interspersed bright whites now and then. This is a place one wants to paint desperately, and yet there is this feeling that nothing remain to paint — nothing to express, nothing to “create” — this creation is complete. It doesn’t need a painter, just a witness to pay attention to it.
I sometimes pause and think about the unrepeatable stream of beauty, visual reality, which goes in front of every single person’s eyes, every waking moment. Each moment, a new unique combination of visual impressions — because there will never be this exact combination of colours, and light, and everything, and there is nobody but you at this unique point in space, and each person’s visual perception is unique, too. It will never happen again, and yet most of us miss it completely most of the time, lost in thoughts, or worries, or plans, or emotions. I certainly do — way more often than I would have loved to…