Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Err on the Side of Fun

I wish every painting would work, but it doesn’t of course, even when I pull out every stop and throw everything I have at it. I use lots of mental talk/tricks to create a state of mind where I feel free to risk, to try anything, even to ruin something good for the chance of making something better, often not knowing if that state of mind is even helpful in a particular circumstance. I’m almost always trying to push myself to go faster and not get stuck in one area; to make a mark and not look back; to work with joy.

That last—work with joy/do what’s fun—may be the best injunction. Sometimes you may be feeling: this is serious; I need to express grandeur/Beauty/respect/awe—and there’s a place for all those emotions/expressions in any painting. But I think playfulness/fun trumps them all in importance, because of the joy that is at the heart of fun—it’s powerful enough to overcome the inevitable frustration of trying to get something “right,” to lift your spirits through the moments of fatigue and difficulty, and to somehow let you participate in the beauty around you. Experiencing beauty IS joyful, beauty IS joy, so to work with joy is to use what’s flowing through you if you’re open to it (the beauty around you). It’s a “high,” and that spirit can be reflected in what you do—and to see that spirit reflected in paint also creates a “high.”

If you’re working and struggling, wondering how to save yourself and your painting or even how to approach something at all, err on the side of fun: go forward with a light heart and a sense of exploration/experimentation—not trying to get it right, but to play.

“Exuberance is beauty.” – William Blake

No comments:

Post a Comment