Sunday, June 13, 2010
I've long been in awe of sculptors and carvers who say that they wait for the medium they're working with to tell them what it is to become. There's a certain level to which I've understood this. Often, words and phrases do that for me. I can latch onto one word and suddenly there's a paragraph swirling around it. However, I've never quite connected on that level with art.
Having finished necessary projects, I found myself with some "play time." Finally, I had a chance to simply do some art for art's sake. Oh, rapture! What joy!! I wandered up to my studio, fresh mug of coffee in hand, and spent some time piddling around, rearranging things, and putting things away, before I forced myself to get busy. I had a lot in my head. I knew I needed a big surface and paint. For a little while, I splotched away, daubed, swept wet brushes across the paper. I didn't know where it was going and I didn't care. It was the doing of it that was what I needed most. The... the... freedom.
I leaned back, stretched, took a gulp of my cooled coffee, and looked at my painty fingers with great satisfaction. Then, I looked back at the paper. There she was, hiding in a streak of aqua, Esméralda, the gypsy girl from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She stood, statuesque and defiant, pregnant, holding a bouquet of flowers. All I did was give her outline and a bit of shadow here and there. "Why the defiant look?" I thought, and then noticed a sneering group of onlookers on the other side of the paper. I, too, looked at them defiantly, and in defense of my favorite gypsy character, as I scribbled in their squinty eyes and down turned mouths. Wretched crowd. Bastards. Who are they to judge?
I leaned back for perspective only to realize that I wasn't in a teaming town square in Paris after all. I was still in my little upstairs studio, paint covered and deliriously happy. I also realized that I finally understood.
It's not getting your vision onto the canvas. It's allowing the vision to leap from the canvas and come you.
I can hardly wait to get back upstairs to see who or what else has put in an appearance.
Yes, I will post a picture of The Ridicule of Esméralda soon.
Posted by Barb Black at 10:55:00 AM