Painting is like an imaginary sandbox, with colours instead of sand. An open window in my studio gives me the encouragement of trees, sky, and birds. In the best creative moments I bask in the light of clear perception, imagining myself brushing the dreamscapes of shamans and mystics. In the worst moments, I am stranded in a banal world littered with cliches and stunted meaning.
I prefer to be alone when painting. The presence of another human being nearby is too distracting. However over the years several animals have been patient enough to put up with the unpredictable shifts in my creative rhythms. Mostly they sleep right through the magic of art, under the table or draped on a nearby couch. They have different talents to offer the artist. Cats make great critics; they will carefully examine a painting and then walk all over it. Dogs are expert at setting priorities; they appreciate all kinds of labour, but they never forget meals and breaks. Both remind me that this messing about with art is a human quirk. Their presence brings a bright energy into the studio and I imagine their optimistic endurance of the vagaries of life being absorbed into the painting as invisible layers between colours.
I filled up this section about painting by describing something which is important yet indirect to my artwork, because for me the act of painting is intuitive and almost wordless, except for the occasional expletive when something goes wrong.
A final thought regarding the artistic process; not enough can be said about the value of staring. Staring at the painting, staring at the corner of the ceiling, staring at the wood grain of the floor. A staring artist is hard at work.
© 2008 Karin M. Weber