Into the Forest – acrylic painting on 36×48 canvas
I titled this blog post Mary vs. Painting as a laugh. For any painters out there, can you sympathize with occasionally hating a painting?
Every day that I walked in to my studio to face this painting I would smile and throw some paint at it and tell it “I hate you!”. My description should not make you think I was feeling rage or anger, this is sort of like meeting up with an old-time nemesis. An entity you have faced over and over again and have figured out that fighting and struggling against it is futile. At this point you can sort of laugh and tell the entity you hate it, but it has sort of lost it’s meaning. It’s just a routine you both go through.
This canvas is large. 3 feet by 4 feet. I instantly felt like this it was huge and unruly and I just couldn’t tame it. Yet every day I would walk in and spend a few hours wrestling with it until I was exhausted and then I’d ask it for mercy and pack up my bags and go home. The next morning I’d smile at it and ask if it was ready to wrestle some more? By day 4-5 I was absolutely amused. I wanted to quit, grab a box-cutter and shred it to bits, but instead I would laugh and tell this canvas I was not surrendering. I would tame this wild beast.
Actually, I’m not sure I ever tamed this beast. I did my best and I learned through it though.
This painting is so crazy. There is almost too much energy and no visual rest. I can be fully aware of my newness to this painting process and know I will eventually have full control and mastery, but for now I am completely vulnerable. All I can do is show up, go for the ride and learn at a snails pace. That is hard for an extremely erratic fast-paced Gemini. I know this about myself, so I have no problem laughing at it’s irony.
It is often said that man visually chooses landscaped earth over the natural state of wilderness. Man can grasp an appreciate the lines of one tree but not 30 trees intermingled. It brings discomfort because the eye does not know how to process and identify what it is seeing.
That’s kind of how I feel about this painting. It is wilderness. It is hard to process all that is going on. There is no visual rest. But just like the untapped forest, maybe that is what was there before we all began to manipulate it.
There is joy in that for me.
I shall observe, embrace and bless my journey.