On Discovering and the Like
Discovering that I enjoyed painting abstract art was a freeing moment in my adult life.
I suppose I happened upon it because, although I have been classically trained in painting and drawing, I found myself utterly frustrated at the time and planning any sort of artistic endeavor took with a needy baby on my hip. Every time I sketched out a new project, I became so agitated that I couldn’t complete something the way I wanted in the time frame that I had.
I started just experimented with moving colors around on a canvas, spluttering and spreading designs that were coming to me in the heat of the moment.
I am constantly unsatisfied with the looks of many paintings, so I take a few days and then come back to them again with new eyes and new brushstrokes and many often than not, I am happy with what ends up laying on the frame.
I had always heard of an artistic experience in which the artist wasn’t really meticulously planning a piece, but rather, he was just discovering it with his hands and his eyes as it took shape right within the making of the thing. I had never quite understood that, though, because the “creation” of art was always some very calculated study of something that I almost fought for after hours and hours of work. The end product was always the true moment of satisfaction and joy for me: look, look what I have completed.
But oddly, with these abstract pieces, I find that it is in the very making of them that gives me this newfound spirit of creation: of feeling like my hands are crafting something that is not planned in advance, but coming alive as I chose to make it come alive.
Walter Wangerin, Jr. writes, “Art is an act, a process…It happens. It is always an event rather than an object.”
I’m grateful to these fun colorful projects conjured up during nap-time for teaching me this.