Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Painting Lessons

Painting in watercolor or ink can teach you a lot about life. I learned these lessons recently, from the independent swirls of water and sepia ink mingling on the page before me:

1) The more risks you take with your strokes, the better the painting can be. Controlled cautious movements never produced anything with the grace or moxie or newness that I was looking for. It is scary to let your brush or pen go whipping off in new directions, but its worth it. Its worth it to produce something that you look at when its dry and wonder how you had that in you. And you didnt have it in you really, it had you in it. Its a little like the dog walking you instead of you walking the dog, you really have to check your ego at the door.

2) The second lesson is about letting go. Painting with a lot of water on the paper can be intimidating because the pigment and the H20 love to run all over the place together hand in hand in the sunshiney wildflower filled foothills of your dear blank page. But if you bend down and put your ear to the paper you will hear a whisper saying , “just let go”. And once you realize this and embrace it, those little molecules will have taught you a lesson that reaches far beyond the edges of the paper.

True sometimes painting with a lot of water and risktaking does not work out at all and knowing when to give up and start again with a clean page and a fearless heart is certainly lesson #3.

1 comment:

  1. it's funny that that is one of lifes biggest lessons... and being in a creative field it's hard to achieve that with all the structure and fear of failure that is pushed upon us by academic and commercial forces. ( I think? )