I dabble in art. Painting, that is, not purchasing. I’m a sporadic creator with a deep seated belief that I have no creative talent when it comes to the canvas although I’ve been told I do. I can conceptualise, but I am often lacking in the execution of a piece. Plus, I’m an impatient soul and I don’t think that always works with art. I do too much, I add too much paint, I scrape, repaint and dab, and then I give up, hide the canvas and slink off to the sofa to read a book.
My friend, Jan French, who is a REAL artist, http://www.janfrench.com has done a lot to encourage me over the years. ‘Paintings are like relationships’, she says. ‘ When everything works together, you have a good painting. When you don’t, you get rid of the things you don’t want, and keep the ones you do. When you do something you like, figure out how you did it and do it again.’
She’s also the one who encouraged me to try watercolours. ‘Relaxing,’ she said.
The tension in my neck when I’m using them says otherwise for me.
I switched to acrylics a long time ago. They’re far more forgiving than watercolour.
I’ve done a few okay pieces with acrylic, but I’ve also sent more paintings to the dump because I can no longer paint over the canvases.
I like working with inks. I can put water on the paper and then let those drops of lush luxurious colours take whatever shambolic trip they wish to take. I manipulate the paper and what comes out, comes out. Perhaps this is a better way to honour my wayward self.
Today convinced me that I need to keep my day job in spite of the fact I’ve put a bid in on a drawing board and plan to turn the back room into a studio for my dabbling.
Normally, when I approach the paper or canvas, I have an idea in my mind. I usually fail at it, and then I just work with what emerges from the disaster. Today, I went to the canvas thinking, ‘I’ll just show up and see what happens. I’ll see what my soul pours out’
It started out okay and shortly went to the dogs. I reworked the paint. Two hours later I had an image. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
BEANS!!!! A plate of pork and beans. On a lopsided plate at that. ‘Dear God,’ I wondered, ‘are you telling me I’m full of beans?’
It’s ironic really, considering our daughter works at Heinz-Watties and jokes about being a ‘beanologist.’
I finished the painting and hung it on the kitchen wall. It’s staying up there until I learn to love it, or I figure out what did and didn’t work.
I’m now slinking off to the couch to read before I discover I’m full of grilled cheese.