Friday, June 15, 2012

Art Will Swallow You Whole

Step in and enjoy, just as you might enjoy a binge on chocolate and cake. Drop into the work space...paint morning and night, or wing out a novel, or begin a song. You are not a song writer, you say, but you heard once that songwriting is like any art form...that once you open the conduit to the numinous, ideas flow, brilliance flows, and the excitement you feel is good, almost like sex. The beginning, the pleasurable middle, the note, a breath you exhale, and relax. When you begin a new paintings the first stroke of cadmium yellow can be tenuous, but the canvas eats up buttery yellow paint. You liken it to the slathering of butter on a crisp piece of toast. The scent of paint, oil of course reminding you of the woods where the heat of the sun warms needles and pitch and proclaims the day soluble. The warmth coming off the rocks where you stretch out to day dream...these are the tubes you squease, watching the stream of yellow, like the pastry chefs icing piping along smooth frosting. The canvas is primed. You have built the stretcher frame in the garage, cut the 1x2 lumber, butted pices together like the country quilt. On the back, 4"x4" hard board pieces are tacked over joints for stabilization. It the canvas is large, a cross bar keeps it from wobbling. Then the canvas, a heavier grade is good but not too heavy. You've ordered from Daniel Smith, bought canvas stretchers and a staple gun. You stretched the canvas evenly, taut enough so the outcome is that it rings like a drum when tapped. As you work, you begin singing. Dead Can Dance is on the CD player, just out there enough, just up beat enough to get you going, brushing on thick gesso, nice and white. Use love the crazy motion that leaves brush strokes for the paint to drop into. Some folks sand in-between for a smooth finish. As you paint a feeling of excitement fills your belly. A feeling that anything is possible, that the world is're alive, days are sunny, wild flowers bloom in mountain meadows. The natural world unfolds one moment at a time. You land on your feet as you spread paint with a squirrel-hair brush. And when your work day is done, you'll still be singing that one refrain--the notes as clear to you as the meadow lark's...and the day will end with a a feeling of satisfaction, that you are repleat with art, almost as if you've transcended the everyday world.

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