January 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?”-Picasso
I’ve recently taken up painting. For those who know me that may come as a surprise, due to my overall lack of ability when it comes to drawing or the visual arts. For me, however, it is merely another step forward in exploring and encouraging my creative and artistic spirit. I know I can’t draw, but having been recently inspired by abstract work from artists like Makoto Fujimura and Scott Erickson (painted paintings for Derek Webb’s recent instrumental work Feedback), I decided to try my hand at some abstract art.
Needless to say, I have learned a few things about myself and art already. Painting is difficult. Especially if you are trying to create something that is more than just slapping some colors on a canvas. Art, even abstract art, is not something done recklessly. You have to have a plan, and even if you deviate from that plan, if you sit down to paint without a plan, it doesn’t work well. It’s so important to know what you are doing and do it.
Being a perfectionist, painting can be deadly. Every line I paint that isn’t straight or that blends with the wrong color makes me wince inwardly. It’s been good for me to have to let go and realize that if everything had to be perfect I would never get it done. I just have to do the best that I can and be satisfied. Painting with acrylic is fairly unforgiving, especially when using a darker color. I can’t go back like I can with writing and fix my mistakes; I have to accept what I did. Painting forces you to take your time and make your decisions deliberately, something that is refreshing in this fast-paced world.
However, what I love the most is the peace that comes from sitting down and painting. There I sit, jamming to Girl Talk or Derek Webb’s Feedback and I let the colors cascade from the brush to the canvas. I juxtapose red and blue, I mix red and yellow, I create something new. And even if my paintings never touch anyone but me, I am confident that in exercising the creativity that comes from being made in the image of God I am constantly growing in a better understanding of the world and myself.