The whole of the object is not grasped in the palm.
The sea itself is one thing, the foam another; Neglect the foam, and regard the sea with your eyes. ~
E H Whinfield
I could do with some cosmic energy to recharge my creativity.
This time last year I was in the midst of difficult change during my mother’s final unsettled and painful months.
Since she died I have been adroit at avoiding my studio, the canvas, materials of all shapes and sizes and the agony of sitting alone with my brain in the vulnerable state of mush that grief imposes. This grief has triggered all kinds of old miseries that I pushed away without complete resolution. I moved through my days without meaning or purpose; closed down and empty.
Until grief’s distress hit me with all the force of a ten ton truck I was busy, functioning and superficially productive. But not creative. Not healed.
So now I am trying a new approach; putting two strong creative techniques together to create a third potent practice. Intuitive painting plus Light-Writing together with an intention to spawn change, to shape-shift: transformation, transubstantiation, transmogrification. A rebirth is what I seek. Not merely a change but an evolution. The crack between the two processes is where something happens; where the smudge may evolve.
Meditation has become an essential ingredient in the alchemy. A silence without incantation; wordless spells. I sit and try not to think.
My Dearest Darling makes the breakfast at the weekend. An Irish spread with scrambled eggs (he’s got this down to a fine art, he’s a perfectionist). Toast with bitter marmalade and coffee. He’s a coffee connoisseur. Fragrant freshly ground beans in a rich liquified extract (did I mention he’s a perfectionist?).
Adventurously, the breakfast was Heston Blumenthal-ed. Somehow (I declined to ask for details), the coffee and the eggs entwined. He took an executive decision to continue to cook those eggs. It was Sunday. There were no more eggs in the house. The breakfast evolved into something between frog spawn and cat sick, but funny. Inedible but hilarious. Inventive and bravely inspired. Highly creative. Gross, but somehow just what I needed. It was refreshing and endearing to see my man’s human flaws.
Once the gloom of an artist’s block envelopes you, perfectionism is the monster in the dark. The effort and the learning are disregarded. We all need to produce messy images. We need permission to engage with chaos and disorder. My brain is in turmoil. I need to honour my dis-ease. Judgement is anathema to creativity. I need to produce messy images. I’m giving myself permission to engage with chaos and disorder and to find the joy within.
My painting may evolve into pond sediment but painting helps me to feel alive.
I will push past my reluctance to feel and the perfectionism stirred up in the wake of grief to enjoy my messy images. It is time to follow the colours that stir my brain to cry and to sigh in frustration but that also enable me to rediscover joy and to laugh with pleasure.