Friday, November 9, 2007

Something Unexpected

I made this painting, Center of the Storm, in 6 hours, while being filmed doing so. You can watch the whole thing on youtube. I had no idea what I was going to be painting; I improvised. This was my second youtube video. The first, Mystery, was painted early this year. In roughly 2 minutes you watch me paint an entire painting. In reverse.

I've been painting using my reverse painting technique for over 20 years. Happily, I am not bored with it yet. I keep discovering new things about my medium, which is a sure indicator that I keep discovering new things about myself. By now I understand a lot more about what will happen if I mix these pigments, or glaze this color over this one. I feel there is always more to learn here. And I love the surprises that lead me to the discoveries, the treasure!

I know one big frustration for many artists is that the piece they are working on doesn't match the vision they have of the piece they wanted to make. I also have visions of paintings, flashes of inspiration, color and light played out in a magical way. When my efforts don't quite own up, I can get frustrated too.

One thing I've come to be grateful for is the happy accident, the surprise, the "mistake". What a gift. If my control freakiness were allowed to rule, I might not have these mistakes, and would be a lot poorer for it. As a very wise person said long ago, mistakes are how you learn. So be grateful for them instead of beating yourself up for not being perfect.

"Center of the Storm" 2007 32"x40" at

1 comment:

Martha Marshall said...

Reminds me of a quote:

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Scott Adams, 'The Dilbert Principle' US cartoonist (1957 - )

I just love that. And I love your painting process. Thanks for finding me on Etsy!