Painting Interludes

The painting process for me is not always the relaxing idyll that might the be general perception of many people. It is a constant mind game of what colour to mix and where to put it, and how much and then usually remove half of it. It is through this process that I finally arrive at a the end of a painting I am happy with. It’s quite mentally tiring and to avoid sitting at the studio twiddling my thumbs, I have unwittingly created what I will now call ‘painting interludes’.

A bit like musical interludes, these are times for relaxation and quieter contemplation. It’s a time to put down some paint either new or left over and not feel like its time or material wasted.

It wasn’t until yesterday though, that I realised the value of these so called ‘interludes’. Whilst quietly playing with oilbars, my palette knife and sitting at the makeshift workstation, I was aware that my subconscious is also quietly processing the next steps. This could be a current painting I’m working on or a project in the pipeline.

I had four projects on the go and they were taking up a lot of head space, projects that generally come to the fore when my body and mind relax, either when I’m asleep and then spend a couple of hours up in the night or during my ‘painting interludes.

Creativity for everyone works at its own pace. Ideas might suddenly arrive and there is a desperation to hang on to them, but they are often fleeting and fluid. They change and develop. It’s often a case of then peeling back the layers to get to the basics to grasp the concept of what it is that is driving the idea and work a framework upon which to create it.

So whilst aimlessly putting small amounts of paint onto the knife and then onto the board over the past two months, I have finished two projects, am half way through the third and the fourth although giving me some angst, I now have a tool in the ‘painting interlude’ to aid and assist this process, I can move forward and feel more relaxed and know that it will be alright in the end and in the words of author Elizabeth Gilbert; trust in my inner genius!

A bonus of these ‘painting interludes’ is that I have produced some small pieces of work on board measuring just 8″ x 10″ that aren’t half bad and will be for sale at a special studio price as unframed pieces.

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