Now that I'm a 9-5er, I don't have that pressure from assignment deadlines and due dates. But if I'm really honest with myself, I still have pressure, just a different kind. A better kind, I think. Here it is:
No, that white square on the wall is not a spot I forgot to paint...its a canvas I bought and hung (to paint) almost 2 months ago. 2 MONTHS. And I haven't touched it. My excuse is that I haven't made a painting since the spring of 1998 - almost 9 years - and I'm scared it will turn out horrible. Printmaking is so different than painting...printmaking is all about layers and transparency and making all your marks on some kind of matrix and then applying it to your paper. And its also so much about process. There are so many steps to make a print...etching a plate in acid or grinding a 100 lb. stone or carving into a piece of wood. Allot of people shy away from printmaking because there's so much process involved, but I love it. There are so many things that can go wrong but end up making something beautiful - happy accidents, as Bob Ross would say. Painting is so direct. Just dip your brush into paint and go. For me, that's allot of pressure.
But last night I dreamed about painting that canvas. I dreamed that my dad and I took it to this cave on the side of the interstate and painted for hours. Even in my dream I was doubting myself...unable to start for so long because I didn't think I had "it" anymore. My dad gave me some sort of pep talk that I wish I could remember, but whatever he said made me just start and I remember being so happy that I did.
So now I'm posting a blog about it, hoping that if more people know about this blank canvas, I'll be more inclined to put something on it so as to have something to report when asked. Maybe that's not the "right" reason to paint, but whatever makes me do it, right?