It’s funny how some things you just know, deep down whilst other things you don’t have a clue about despite thinking that you do.
I was thinking this morning about the process of painting a picture. Something was a bit of a revelation about when people are up on hillsides looking at pretty things, with their easels and paint looking out over it all and deciding which bit of a wonderful landscape they will choose to paint.
Clearly I was not paying attention to things in my art class years ago, because it hadn’t occurred to me what happens first and it has held me back over the years, now as it turns out unnecessarily.
Faced with the blank page in front of me and thinking, Where do I start? What if I make a mistake? Will I mess it up? All these thoughts and many more have held me back from actually doing that thing, getting the paper, paints etc out. From creating a lovely picture to hang upon the wall. Of course it might not be lovely IF I actually mess it up, but the truth is I haven’t tried, through fear of failure. My art has suffered and with it, my creativity. Who holds me back, well yes the truth is it’s usually me.
I dreamed as a child of being a ballet dancer, where I danced beautifully on stage but in reality I cannot dance. I don’t have the confidence or coordination required. I also dream of painting or drawing wonderful images, but settle for photography as the reality is so very different from my attempts.
But then a few weeks ago I was watching something on the TV, Grand Designs, (Well it is almost Autumn again and I will have to find something to watch on the television) Kevin McCloud, the presenter was up on a hillside with the man who was building his house. He had taken him there for inspiration, declaring that it would be time out from the build and since they both paint they would each do that. Watching them sitting there, they started to sketch out the view which reached out in front of them, on paper and sat there talking. And there is was… It must have sat in my subconscious after that until now. Later in the program, they showed the reveal of the almost finished house and hanging on the wall was the painted picture that the man had done. Of course it was beautiful, but then again he painted regularly.
I also noticed another painting where you could see the lines underneath the paint, why had I never thought about this before. Well, somehow it seemed as though I had a light bulb moment and when I come to think of it, it seems rather silly that I have never done this since leaving school. I quite often sketch pictures, usually of houses or landscapes and think, I only wish that I’d put more colour on there, but something more than colouring pencils. My painting fear does not extend to painting the house, objects etc it’s just when faced with the blank page.
So all of this time, I have only been seeing something half finished, it’s time to change that.
I have also sat down and thought about painting on many occasions, only to stop for fear of putting a brush stroke in the wrong place and having to turn it into something different. Paint seems to be such a permanent thing. I know that if I had to do that then that would be the one thing that would annoy me in the finished painting, the one thing that I could see that was wrong. So I didn’t. I guess as they say in America I have issues and somewhere in there is bound to be another metaphor. As I will be heading on up the hill at sometime soon, where I will be surrounded by the beauty and the scenery for a little while at least, when I finally get there, I may just take my sketch pad some paint and finally colour my world a little bit brighter.
Images: Morguefile & My Own