Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Strange Magic: The Courtship Between Color and Me

I don't know how most artists paint, but I definitely have a sort of courtship dance that I do with my work.  I always look forward to the days that I plan on makin' love to the color.  In my head I imagine spending hours upon hours lost in that special place.  It seldom happens that way for me, though.

For some reason, I have to "court" the color, or perhaps the painting.  First, I get things set up.  Easel, canvas, paints at the ready.  My favorite brushes.  The palette.  Then, the dance begins. 

Oh, I may draw a little bit, or paint the background or underpainting.  I am just as likely to do nothing, though.  I have to kind of walk around the house, looking at the canvas on the easel.  Not too bold.  Just a glance.  I don't want to make it uncomfortable.  That canvas is no hussy!  It is a rare gift to me, and I damn well better treat it right!  To paint is to be with my Creator and that is holy.  Homage must be made.
Finally, I approach.  It may be the same day, it may not.  As I begin, I play one of 4 CD's.  Dire Straights first album simply titled "Dire Straights".  Joan Osborne's CD "Early Recordings".  Joan Jett's Greatest Hits.  Or The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".  Why those?  I don't know.  Does it matter?  Sometimes I will listen to the radio, too.  Classic Rock, or Classical.  But mostly it is those four.  Those four are "our songs".  The songs the color and I fall in love with each other to.

I may paint three or four hours.  I may paint two.  Then, the dance begins again.  I have to walk around, glancing at it.  Look up from the table while eating and notice nuances, what works, what isn't.  Still, I don't jump up and "fix" it or elaborate.  No, no!  One cannot accost their lover.

When the time is right to begin again, I know.  I can then start to caress my lover and show it, just a little more, what I am feeling for it.  Eventually, the painting gets done.  Sometimes I feel it is a success.  Other times, I feel I have fallen far short of what I was trying to express to my dearest love.

It used to puzzle me, this game of cat and mouse.  It seemed I must be scared to just paint!  I finally realize it is not fear.  It is reverence.  It is a building of anticipation, a sensuous revelling in the erotic pleasure of creation. 

Just like making love to a human, the joy...the bliss of the act should not be ignored.  Yes, the ending is breathtaking for me, just like with sex...but, oh, the pleasure of building up to that!  That is not to be taken lightly, but prolonged so that every fiber of my being can rejoice in it. My color.  My love.  My everything.

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