Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Bind, Mend": Complete

Well, this has been an interesting journey. Sometimes it seems I start out saying one thing and then end up saying something completely different. No one can doubt that the beginning and end of this piece are like night and day. Let's review, shall we?

The creative process is both extremely painful and unbelievable thrilling for me. And taking the photos—well, I just know that where I start is not where I'm going to end, so I have this need to document the journey. I guess it's to help remind me that all the steps (even the bad ones) need to be there.

I've said so much about this painting that it will seem repetitive, so I'll just post my final picture and talk a bit more about the creative process, I guess.

My friend Paul has been looking at my posts. He called me yesterday and, not trying to influence me or anything, told me what he saw. We did a storytelling event on Saturday, and a dear friend read a story that, well, it could pretty much be represented by this image. I didn't even think of it, and I was right there hearing the story. I made this a couple of days later. Yes, it's a lot like that story, but I don't think it's that story. Still, it's nice to see that it has some universal qualities to it.

I'm always a little sad when the work starts to come to an end. I have this feeling that I want to start up a second canvas right along side to see if I can hang on, keep the energy going, but I can't. I have to go into a kind of dormant period. Maybe I'll make marks and glue things down, but they'll probably end up all covered over. That's fine. It's part of the process. And there's always this fear that the creative fire won't come back, so I worry a little. Maybe you worry, too, like you'll never be that good again.

When the painting is done (and I think it is) I start to want to just sit with it, as if it were a friend of mine. We'll hang out in the studio and I'll look at all its parts to make sure they're right. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do it tomorrow. I'm starting to lament not having more wall space in the studio. Maybe it's time to take down some mirrors.

I'm not going to be modest here—I'm really pleased with the way this (and the two other paintings) have turned out. Somehow, I can't believe that I made them.

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