Every painting has a story
The above image is how the painting looked after it was finished.
I wrote the following post on Facebook as the painting was evolving:
“Thank you for letting me share my joy of “energy” painting with you. Last night I was aching to start a new one. Working on “realistic” paintings can sometimes get tedious and I want to play!
I selected a 16″ x 20″ canvas and covered the entire canvas with Titanium White Chroma Interactive acrylic. This is so I don’t get bogged down later, trying to fill in places that have no paint. Next I chose my current favorite color: Alizarin Crimson, squeezed it from the tube directly onto a #10 Bristlon filbert brush.
I try to keep my my mind free – in a playful mood, feeling the paint flowing onto the canvas, watching how it mingles with the white, playing with many different brush strokes, feeling the resistance as the brush pushes and pulls the paint on the canvas, loving the many values of pink as they appear, adding a little more paint to the brush, pushing, pulling, dabbing, twisting the brush to see what happens. I like what I see so much that I want to stop – to not “ruin” what is already there.
So I challenge myself: Pick a color, any color, don’t think about it. So I grab a fat new tube of Naples Yellow! A rich, soft, whipped-buttery, somewhat muted yellow. Practical Mind says “Oh no! Yellow and Crimson will make a muddy orange-brown when you mix them!” Child Mind says “Lets see what happens!”
More playing with brush strokes, paint squeezed directly onto the brush, no cleaning the brush between colors. “More white!” Child Mind says, and the play continues. (All this takes place with the canvas on my lap, while I sit in my recliner chair, Stitch Kitty sleeping on the foot rest.) I get up to place the canvas on the easel so I can see what we’ve done, and Stitch thinks it’s time to eat.
When I return from feeding him, I am seeing the painting for the first time.
I look at it, the way we look at clouds, looking for recognizable forms. I turn the canvas horizontal and look again, and turn it again until I have studied it from all four angles, seeing different forms, shapes, and lines each time. Each time, the painting seems to ask for green – not a bright green, but a rich deep green – olive green. Again, same brush, not cleaning the brush between colors, filling in the spaces. Now the canvas is filled with paint.
I took this photo because I like it the way it is now – 3 paint colors plus white, about 45 minutes of paint application, about an hour of studying the canvas.
How do I know it’s not finished? I’ve learned to “listen” to the paint. As I look at it, study it, it will tell me what to do: “Follow this line. Add this color. More contrast. If I “listen” it will tell me what to do and it will tell me when it’s finished. So far, I see flowers, but I try not to get too locked in to what I want it to be, because I might miss something even better that will be revealed as I follow the energy of the painting. It’s so much fun!!! Try it! You’ll like it! It’s cheaper than therapy!
Isn’t it interesting that I could never repeat this same painting, even if I wanted to, even if I used the same colors and the same process.
Because Creative Energy, like a river, is always flowing.