Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My painting, my teacher

At 5:00 this morning I found myself lying in bed, wide awake, thinking about this painting and wondering what marks I might add to lift it out of the ordinary and "make it a winner."

Eventually I fell asleep, and began to dream, and in my dream there were several people I've known and admired through the years, beautiful people, who appeared (in the dream) to take an interest in me but either didn't follow through on their promises or were just using me; some couldn't even remember my name.

I woke up thinking, "What on earth was that about?" I mused for a bit, then settled down with my current reading -- John Daido Loori's Zen and the Art of Creativity.

After a few pages I settled into meditation, and realized I was remembering what it felt like to paint this painting. And it was, quite possibly, the first time I have ever been fully engaged in that act.  I was using a short brush, so I was close to the canvas, and I could feel the memory of it in my heart; that I was listening to the painting, letting it tell me what to do rather than "thinking" -- what would look good here, what should I do next.

So coming back to it this morning, I realize -- it doesn't need a thing, a mark; something I arbitrarily come up with and apply. It's not about what's beautiful, or what I "think" is visually appealing.  It's about presence, about collaboration, about listening and learning.  It's done, it's complete, it's whole, in the same way that I, in this moment, am done, complete, and whole.  And it doesn't matter if it's a winner or not: it's my child, and I treasure it. It's my teacher, and I have learned something truly special from it, about what painting is, about what it means to be in the moment, about acceptance...

And it's all good.


Maureen said...

This painting fascinates me, and I agree with you that it needs nothing more.

Hope you are well.

Did you see that Joyce is moving to Mexico?

Diane Walker said...

I think I saw something about that a couple of days ago, but I don't know any of the story behind it; do you?