I splat the black in an accidental curve. That’s cool. I didn’t try to do that, but I like it.
I have been painting for a month now — experimenting, exploring, familiarizing myself with the nuances of paint and placement. Improvement is never the goal. “Improvement” implies there is somewhere I want to go other than where I am. I don’t. There is no goal. Just the journey. I will admit, however, the more I paint, the more chances I take — different color combinations, smaller drips, more colors. It’s like going out for an enjoyable walk every day, but taking a more difficult path each time.
Regardless of which path I take, though, I will never take the path that leads to painting a picture like the one of the girl below. I bought it at an antique shop a year or so ago. I saw it there, loved it, but could not afford it. I kept going back, each time hoping that the portrait hadn’t sold, so I could enjoy it again. Finally, my wife had enough of the affair and told me to buy it and bring it home. I hung it on the wall of my office and have enjoyed it since. The painting is unsigned. I don’t know anything about the artist or the subject, but I find what the artist did and the subject mesmerizing and beautiful.
But I’ll never paint a picture like this because of two reasons: I don’t have the talent and it’s not the direction I want to go even if I did have the talent. I still find paintings like this awe-inspiring and thought-provoking. I often try to imagine why her eyes are smiling, her relationship with the artist, the culture of her people — but the direction of it has too much purpose for me to want to emulate. I need freedom. I need spontaneity and surprise. I need to create images with no definition except the subjective meaning the viewer supplies. I still find paintings like those above, art with a clear story, beautiful and worthy of bottomless respect. However, my painting energy would be wasted on projects like them.
In the pieces I am creating, some people, like my father-in-law, see things as fish and panda bears and riverbeds. That’s okay. I have no problem with that. They are interpreting their own story. As long as I get to see what I see in them, I have no problem with what others see in them.
But I don’t see anything that I can reach out and touch. I don’t see anything that can be compared with something else other than in style and method.
I just see hope…and creation…and joy…and sorrow…and the past…and the future…and change…and…and…and…