As an artist there are many canvases in my studio stacked off to the side or in a cubby of the large bookshelf in my studio, and many of them have been started, and left half-finished. I have stopped at many stages of each of them, or left them in different stages of their completion. Some speak to me from beginning to end without any problems or glitches, some stop speaking to me shortly after they are started. Some never speak to me again, leaving me wondering if I should even be trying to paint at all! As I sit here wondering if they will ever speak again, or why am I fooling myself thinking I’m a painter, or should I get rid of all this stuff, and reduce the clutter, it occurs to me that these paintings must have a life too! Maybe they are busy with their own lives, just like I am busy with my family, friends, and other things that pull me away from painting!
What happens when the sun goes down, and the lights go out?
Do the images on the paintings jump off the canvases, and play around in the studio? Do they do their own sketches, and drawings? After all I do have a studio filled with art toys to delight, and put a twinkle in the eyes of even the most childlike of artists. When my grandkids are here visiting, the first place they go is my studio, and then it starts….. “Grandma, can we paint today? ” or “Can we use your markers?” Their eyes light up just talking about the possibilities, and if that’s so, then why wouldn’t the images on my canvases want to open drawers, explore, and try the different paints, pencils, markers, and anything else they could possibly find to play with. I can see them now, dancing to the music, and scribbling on the walls. Here I thought one of the kids did the little scribbles that I found last week! Are the paintings like the toys in toy story where the doors shut, and the lights are turned off, and they come alive… It is important to remember that.. All work and no play makes Karen a dull girl!
I’ll bet my canvases come alive!
So maybe I should take another approach to getting them to speak to me….. Maybe if they all stood in a row, to give each other support, and courage, they would tell me what they want from me. Or just maybe…we should all have a party…in my studio…tonight….when the paintings think I’m asleep, I’ll get up out of bed…tip toe into the party room, and yell Surprise! Am I being way too up tight about painting? I am a recovering perfectionist, and that zaps the spirit out of anyone… even though I know this, I fight it all the time! Looking back, I think that’s why I like to paint intuitively, it takes the element of perfectionism out of the mix!
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.