Yesterday was a productive day. I worked on my large red painting I call “Mother” at the moment. I have finished defining my mom’s head on the canvas with a lot of black dots. They created a very fragile feeling. It is amazing how much time a work like this takes. You would think, oh it’s only some dots, but to keep your hand steady and the tip of the brush from drying take some serious juggling around. I am not sure how much of this type of technique I am going to use on this painting, but I might find myself putting a lot of dots on this canvas. It is very time consuming, but as long as I get what I need from the painting I don’t mind the time spent.
There are three types of techniques (not sure if “techniques” is the right word here) I use while working on a painting at the moment. The process usually goes like this. At the beginning I work fast with expressive brush strokes. I put a base for my painting. Next goes drawing lines which define characters. Then comes the last part which is either filling in these lines with paint or filling in the lines with little dots with color. That depends on the energy I need to get from a painting. It is quite amazing to see how one or another color dictates my lines and what I draw with my pencil on them.
My painting process has changed quite dramatically. A few years back I used to work using expressive brush strokes. Now I spend more time developing different angles and depths on my canvases. I believe this has changed after my friend Psilocybin helped me to experience how this world is “constructed,” from multiple, I want to say, two dimensional flats that interact with each other depending on how shadows fall. A flat, two dimensional picture we see every day becomes a multifaceted/multi-dimensional image constantly changing with the movement of light and shadows. For some reason this multidimensional feel of the world disappears from our every day perception. I wonder why that is like that. Why can’t we see this “multidimensionality” every day?
What I have seen on my “trips” help me to observe surroundings in a different “light” and see in them way more than I used to. Sometimes I find myself with a dilemma which image I should highlight for others on my canvasses. I could look at a bunch of lines for hours and see multiple characters forming in front of me. My mind connects lines and these lines get translated into my brain as recognizable images/characters. Sadly not all of the images I see survive my next step in painting. That’s where I am right now with my red large painting. There are a few characters that are coming through and I am not sure which “technique” I should use to highlight them, because as soon as I start putting more lines, more characters develop on the canvas. Every new line creates a new “challenge” and a new need for another line.
That is why I’ve decided to stop with the turquoise green painting (The Turquoise Green Angel). There was a point in my painting process when the running, light coat of white paint created this ghostly character I liked so much. When I started highlighting it with the thicker paint the ghostly character disappeared. It is alright though that it did, because this highlighting brought out other characters which are as strong as the one that got lost under the paint.
So for me the challenge now is how to contain all of that that I like in a painting. I don’t know why I am hesitating right now in front of the red painting. I just need to do it and follow my gut feeling about it. It is my work and only I know what needs to be done.
Originally written on 11-17-17
Last night I made a progress on my red large painting. “My Mother as a Guardian Angel of Angels” most likely is going to stick as the name for it, because that’s what the painting is all about. It is about my mother taking care of other angels. One of the things that make me happy in this process is that I can’t believe I am working on the painting which was the hardest for me to touch because I had my mother’s image on the canvas from the very beginning. There was this feeling of messing something up on the canvas. It’s funny because sometimes I am not even sure what I could mess up in one or another painting, because usually this “messing up” is needed for me to look through what is hidden in the work I am creating. So this time I was quite attached to this bright red that was dominating the canvas. Last night I covered most of it with the white paint and interestingly enough the painting revealed itself to me.
Right now I am looking for the spots I should “correct” or in other words highlight, making sure others see what I see. I have already told you that I could look at a bunch of lines and still find something that captivates me while others might just see a bunch of lines that make no sense and would be surprised hearing what I am seeing when I look at them. In any case this is a good practice for me. Sometimes I find myself seeing one image after another almost like on a mushroom trip and I believe my “messing up” part is about keeping all these images intact. I have already discussed that phenomenon when I am anxious of highlighting one thing because that would mean I would lose something else. Well in this case with the red painting I have lost that red and that whatever fire it created, but I regained a clearer image of what was hidden because of that red, in this case my mother as an angel or a phoenix being reborn into an angel. Of course now I am facing another dilemma, how should I continue my work on the painting.
Originally written on 11-19-17