i was standing at stove this morning, making my usual breakfast, basking in a post-painting think pod.
i was wondering why it is that the painting comes so slowly and sporadically for me. why, when i can bust out some mean paper crafts or knit something like nobody's business, does the painting gloop out like molasses in the winter? why it is, to get something started with paint and a canvas, it's like breaking through a wall of jelly that's been in the fridge for too long?
then i realized: art (for me) is following your own instructions or following no instructions at all.
things like knitting and paper crafts and sewing are inherently instructional - instructions that other people have already figured out. sew a straight line to get this hem. purl, purl, knit, yarn over to get this look on a stitch, fold the paper this way to get this animal. but paint to canvas... you make your own instructions. you decide what color or shape or stroke will translate what is in your brain to what wants to come out onto the canvas.
all my life, i've been living under some kind of instruction handed out by others. i might have manipulated those instructions to get the result i wanted, but there were still "guidelines". this is totally free of that and, up until a little while ago, that seriously intimidated and crippled whatever is/was in me. hell, it still does, but now it just feels right to dive into it and swim around in that intimidation to see what it can do to me.
after careful observation, i've noted that once i break through that wall of jelly, whatever needs to come out, comes out fast and furious (ha!), but until then, i fidget and squirm and it's a weird - oddly physical - struggle to let it out. i thought i would need some licker of some kind to get me going last night, but when i couldn't get the pernod open after 10 minutes and removing the top layer of skin from my hands, i gave up on that and said, FUCK IT! I CAN DO THIS BY MYSELF! i sat there, listening to mink deville and tried to take my time (that is HARD) and it started coming out. ALL BY ITSELF. yay!
i think that, once i get comfortable with the no instruction, guideline or structure, this painting stuff is going to come out a lot faster and easier. i'm not saying it's good, but at least it'll get out. hm.