I needed to try something without traditional rules, not just to let off steam, but mainly because I don’t have the talent or skill to follow traditional rules of anything. I had seen some paintings in a local gallery this past summer that called to me in both color and form. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. They were like sliced and polished slabs of the earth hanging on the wall. They were reverse splatter paintings on sheets of acrylic. I couldn’t afford to buy one, so I figured I would try one of my own if I ever got the chance.
A few weeks later, I bought some old sheets of plexiglass at a garage sale. A couple of weeks after that, I discovered a case of various colored acrylic paints in my father-in-law’s basement. A couple days after that, I was told that my 15 years with the company was at risk of ending if I didn’t get my performance goals up by the end of the year.
Performance goals. I am so tired of performance goals.
I went home, put on some old clothes, laid a piece of plexiglass on a tarp in the middle of the driveway and just started dripping paint. I picked the colors that touched my fingers first. I let each color dry for a completely arbitrary length of time before I dripped the next color. I didn’t think about anything while I did it — not my job, not my finances, not my inevitable old age — I was just dripping paint like I thought I should.
The picture below is what happened that day. After living almost a half a century, it is the first painting I’ve ever done. I started the next one almost immediately.