Glorious Descent

Glorious Descent
Acrylic on canvas 60 x 40cm

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I look good in leather

I am like a painting... I realised today, as finally some sentiment and energy started to emerge from a painting that I had been labouring over for some time.

When I paint I rarely paint with a plan or desired image in mind - it starts normally with an idea, a vague impression of a place or sensation that I want to give physicality to. It begins with purely colour and gesture - like sparks from a magic wand I like to paint impulsively. I trust my instinct, I have to, it is my unique asset, but painting purely subjectively all the time can also be an enemy.

The mind has the ability to return to safe areas of knowledge - you can repeat things, make the same mistakes, or labour over a work for the sake of using a brush. One can, as I have realised mistake instinct for complacency and therefore never arrive anywhere new. This is why I have begun to strategise a little in my approach - and I have never done anything that feels more uncomfortable.
I need to trick my brain, just like many an artist turns a painting upside down to see it fresh, for what it is not. I need to challenge my practice and see what can be discovered in parameters.

The reason I liken my personality and behaviours to a painting, is that I know how I work, sometimes I feel like a laboured painting - but a messy surface of paint that doesn't come together. I can spiral downhill and my mind resembles a disgusting palette of orange and violet with jagged yellow stripes - a composition that I just want to abandon, so I can start anew. I can't abandon Madeleine though, I can't rip off her canvas and re stretch a fresh skin, I have to labour with her. Most often she will emerge from the deluge - like my painting started to do in the studio today. But as reality sets in I ponder as to how sustainable it is to let a body become toxic and a mind into dangerous deep waters too often. Perhaps I need strategies too.

In retrospect, I began these strategies a month or so ago, when I took myself for some retail therapy with the strict instruction that I wasn't to buy what I gravitated to in the shop. I wanted to see what would happen if I wore leather, or one of those strappy sexy tops with sequins - who am I in other clothes ? Yes, I know, this sounds superficial, but we all do it - be it in fashion or something else, we do what is comfortable. I am not trying to re invent madeleine, just see her in a different light.

{I'm sorry to report that I couldn't leave the shop with the leather mini skirt - But I did invest in an ironing board and 2 shirts. I think I'll give the crisp pressed look a go.}

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