On Painting

I may have just painted my last picture.

I am not interested in painting pictures. I haven't been for a long time. And I keep painting pictures. I've been painting pictures for years now. And although it generally leaves me feeling restless and unfulfilled, it's been good exercise, good practice for what - to me - is the real thing.

By "pictures" I mean those things that describe things for you. Pictures spell things out. Pictures have a very important and meaningful place in the world, I'm not arguing that at all. Really amazing pictures can help us notice the extaordinary in the ordinary world around us. It's just that I don't want to paint them.

Every now and then I'm able to turn off the voice in my head that tells me I need to describe things. It's very, very hard to do, even though it seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world to do.

This here is what I love. This is what makes me happy. I don't know if it's a "good" painting. But I love it.

I spent most of this past weekend painting a very nice boat picture on this same canvas (not that there's anything wrong with nice boat pictures if nice boat pictures speak to you). But it made me very restless. I couldn't sleep last night until I destroyed it. I know that sounds a little odd to some (and not to others), but this, above, is what came out of it. And this is one of the best feelings in the world that cannot be described with words.


Stacy Caldwell4 Comments