Gesture #1 and #2 on the Year-Long Canvas – Big F****** Deal, right?
I must say that this Year-Long Canvas Project (see my archives for more explanation) is starting off as a non-event. Knowing how far I have to go on it and anticipating all the many layers of paint ahead of me, it seems irrelevant what my first gestures on the canvas are. I am ALREADY yawning with it, eager to pick up speed. We all knew that would happen, but so soon?
My first brushstroke was not done with a brush – one of my favorite ways to begin a painting is with a random swipe of my squeegee over liquid paint. I chose Paynes Gray. Why not a lighter color? Because I felt like being dramatic and I love the possibilities of Paynes Gray; it has more character than jet black. I chose to swipe it in the sort of diagonal direction so that I could take advantage of the purposeful texture already there from my background color’s application. Then a second color, Naples Yellow, using a palette knife and spontaneously adding a fling of splatter with it which will undoubtedly not matter one dot by the end of the painting but it got a few of my wiggles out and made me feel good. Not yet a third color. And no blending just yet.
Wow that was fun….sort of. Am I going slow enough? Such a pathetically small offering to the art Buddha.
I have other irons in the fire of course – several other canvases demanding my attention – so the lazy year long canvas ( I am sure it hates that nickname) is just standing over there in the corner now. It is very difficult for it to be a non-participant in the daily hum of things. I would not want it to be a sad painting, so I consciously decide to be joyful when I work on it the next time.
I guess I am predictably engaged in this process. So easy to know me and how I will handle it. So boring in my reaction. SOOO already feeling frustration. I am sure that my instructor knew full well what he was doing in offering this challenge to me. Painting like this is like biting your tongue until it bleeds with things you want to say. It is like knowing you will have a scrumptious dinner but not until next year.
I am silently screaming…..but I was told to make just a few gestures at each meeting of the canvas and me, allowing time between sessions to ponder and think and even meditate, I assume. How long between meetings? I don’t know. Restraint is the key word. It could vary immensely from month to month. It occurs to me that I am too old for a time factor like this. I try to make the most of every single day….because at a certain age you just never know. So I have trained myself to live in the NOW, savoring the moments. And I guess that is actually the point in a project of such long duration. But still, next year seems very far off.
But I can do it. I can restrain myself. Hey – you bet I can.
Here I go, doing nothing on it for awhile.