Thursday, March 1, 2012

It is Thursday and, happily, I have no classes today which is not the same thing as having no class today.  On the heels of a wonderful little winter storm I am noticing that the sky is a clean-scrubbed blue up above the clouds.  I asked my painting professor just what formula  I would have to mix in order to replicate its depth and intensity.

These are the things that launch one-hour conversations among painters and get us completely distracted from otherwise productive lives.  When you steep yourself in the bubbling cauldron of creativity you discover not only how strong you are, like Eleanor Roosevelt's proverbial tea bag, you also discover the severe limitations that come with having to live within the parameters of conventional time.  Suddenly, 24 hours per day become 12, or even 8.  Weeks contain 3 or 4 days:  the ones spent not painting or planning to paint or dreaming of painting or buying new paint or discussing paint are just somehow not in the week.
They have escaped to a world of other pursuits, the unreal plane populated by all things non-painting.

Even when not painting I live in a color theory and composition world.  I notice that I make plates for my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners resemble faces or landscapes by different artists.  Today's was an essay into the non-objective and begs the question "What would happen if a portrait-on-a-plate had no recognizable features but used only color, line and form?"  This is the kind of question that has landed artists in loony bins for years.  It was also Wasily Kandinsky playing in my head.

I'm not sure how many hours I've been working.  The clock indicates I've been here just under 25 minutes, but it also seems that the creative breakthroughs are always the work of hours and days and weeks and yes, even years of dreaming and exploring.  So over a plate of scrambled eggs and mushrooms a new relativity has become manifest.  It must mean it's time to quit doing non-painting things and do what's important.

But lest we think that time spent in the world of imagining is time misspent, remember this:

"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.  Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."   -Gloria Marie Steinem

And, for those who are curious:  a sky like today's begins life on canvas with pthalo blue and cobalt, or maybe 2 parts cobalt, 8 parts titanium white, and 1/2 part cadmium yellow light.  Happy painting!

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