Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beyond fear into possibility

If the composition of this one looks vaguely familiar, it's because it's based on the cover of an old Patagonia catalog.  The catalog sits on top of one of the many piles in our upstairs hallway (which is still full of boxes from the garage) and it kept catching my eye, so I thought it would be fun to try painting it.

It turns out I have a lot of fear around painting -- years of being raised by a critical artist mother -- and so I'm trying to make it a practice to respond to anything that beckons as a possible subject, as a way of painting through the fear to the other side.

In this case the fear has to do with painting anything remotely representational (I'm convinced I can't draw) so I did the whole painting with a palette knife so I wouldn't get caught in the details; just stick with general impressions. 

Though I'm pleased with the result (note: this is an unretouched photo except for slight color corrections to restore accuracy), I'm not necessarily certain it's a direction I want to follow.  But I didn't want to NOT follow just because it scared me.  Having spent so much of my life making choices out of fear, I want to use this path to push beyond fear into possibility...


Sherri B. said...

This is have a gift. I hope you can work through the fear! I completely relate - I also have fear when it comes to painting, although for me I think it's just the perfectionist in me that's afraid to make bad art. Thanks so much for sharing.

Louise Gallagher said...

Once again, our thinking is along similar paths.

I like your painting -- I too sometimes paint what I fear and use a palette knife to hold myself safe outside the lines I fear I cannot hold to. :)

kimmanleyort said...

I love your explanation of how this exercise helped you move past a fear. A little awareness and little steps I think can make a big difference in facing our fears.

I experienced something similar yesterday in a drumming workshop. It was my first time playing a drum. I noticed that I liked to play my part quietly so as not to overpower anyone else - much like I do in real life situations. So, I purposely played a little louder and more forcefully and, lo and behold, it fit nicely and didn't overpower anyone else. A small step but it taught me something.

Diane Walker said...

Wow! So much to offer in each of these comments! Yes, I am a perfectionist; yes, I find the palette knife safer; LOVE the drum story!