Sometimes it seems impossible. There is no way to get from here to there. My bones are heavy. A rock sits in my body. My mind is full of “no” – no way, no more. Done. Finished.
The very idea of squeezing paint out is horrible, futile and wasteful. I am full of distain and tiredness. It feels like depression. It grips the body in the same way. It seems to have the same pathology. It plays the same tune. But it is not depression. I know this place. I have been here before – many times.
Usually it kicks in when I return to the studio after being away. It is especially likely after a week or two of teaching when I am talking, talking , talking. I talk about our natural creativity, about how when painting goes well it is easy. I work with people on how to deal with difficulties. It seems to know that all this talk ‘about’ things, separates me from my silent work. It can tell I get too cocky. I start to believe what I say. I’m in the words of possibility not the reality of it, which can only be found in the work itself.. I’m in the propaganda. I become an easy target busy with my mind and the ideals, constructs and methodology of painting. Words words words. I forget that it has to be met where it lives and for the painter this is in the studio, alone. I forget that I have to go like Joyce advocated, “for the millionth time to confront the reality of experience.” Each time a confrontation – each time a new thing. I forget the advice of Shitao that here in this place, “no method is perfect method.”
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