I am working on several large pieces to take to a new gallery in Toronto, and cycling once again through creation and destruction...a surface on one that just yesterday was quite beautiful, is tonight nothing but an uninteresting mess. All the grace and promise gone, and nothing to do but start again tomorrow.
I'm thinking about the famous quote from Pablo Picasso: “Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.” The surfaces of my paintings are formed by many acts of destruction, and are impossible for me to create any other way. It is by scraping, dissolving, and painting over many layers that rich, evocative textures and colors are achieved. So I suppose it makes as much sense to welcome the next stage of the painting I was working on tonight as to mourn any perceived loss.
I tell myself this as I wait for the wrenching frustration I experienced leaving the studio tonight to subside...knowing that the glimpse I had of the painting's potential still lives in my mind, and in whatever traces of that image are left in its current muddy state. The journey will continue, and there will be good days and not so good days until the painting is done.
As I left the studio tonight, I marveled that anything I paint actually does ever get finished. But hanging near my door are quite a few paintings ready to be sent to my galleries, reassuring proof that I do reach "done" on a regular basis. (The small painting above, Timanfaya #3
, 12"x12", will be on it's way to Darnell Fine Art
in Santa Fe this week.)