Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” For me, searching the textured, abstracted, multi-colored surface of my canvas, I ache to discover what each painting wants to reveal to me, and thus become. This is my great challenge, and when detected and captured, my great joy. I have no luck in forcing things along. There are processes I rely on and yet I have no formula guaranteed to bring the painting into being. It is only with the alchemy of materials, skills, intent and some form of magic that allows me to discover what the painting’s true nature is. To see it, I have to not look for it, or rather look in an oblique manner, and then, if I am lucky, I make my discovery. These paintings are what were waiting in the paint to be painted.
In this painting, THERE IN THE WILD PLACE, I started by painting in big loopy letters “I have discovered”. I continued painting until the words were no longer visible. I really revel in this part of the process. It is so pleasant, just adding color here and there. When I finally finished the under-painting and begin looking, the hindquarter and one ear of the fawn were almost immediately revealed to me. That is kind of unusual. Typically it takes a lot of searching. And because it was unusual, it was a little bit hard to trust. I had seen 3 fawns in the last couple of months, but still…to have one show up so quickly in my abstract field of color? After some drawing and erasing on the canvas, I decided not to fight the fawn. If it wasn’t meant to be, that would become apparent. I continued on painting, adding paint and then painting over things I didn’t like. I usually take photos when I am creating a painting to help me with the process of figuring out what is working and what isn’t. The camera gives me a small image that is often easier to evaluate than the full size canvas. After many hours, I was very happy with the fawn and her surroundings, and she was THERE, IN THE WILD PLACE. She is there to remind me, she is always willing to take me away from ordinary domestic life. She offers a reprieve from all the chores that have yet to be done, and a path for me to rediscover my true self.
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