Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Womanly monotony

I've been painting quite a bit lately. At least a little each day, which is a real accomplishment some days. On one piece in particular (there are a few pictures of it in-progress on my Instagram feed @paigecanderson #thatyebenotdecieved), there are nearly 4,000 triangles. I've filled in over half of them, but as soon as they're all meticulously painted I'll brush over the whole of panel and attack the surface with a power sander.

It's always a scary moment—the jump into the dark; the one you know is coming (that you're bringing on yourself) but the unknowns still overwhelm you; the one right before a mass of paint covers up what took so many hours to do; right before a glaze covers things over; right before I sand everything away. Am I being dramatic?

There's a bit of exciting suspense in it all, too. Sometimes a glaze works, it urges colors to life, merges shapes into other forms, releases the painting from something too rigid and sterile to be emotive and gives it depth and richness. Other times, it dulls the whole surface, making it seem dead. And so I get to work reviving it, breathing color and structure back into it as I work the pattern up again (and again, and again). Each time some of the process remains, like a record that work happened and progress was made.

I'm always reassured by my process. As scary as the point before no return is, I'm find repose knowing that I have a process to regain whatever what was lost as my hand hums across the surface again.

It has memorized how to fill the triangle in just a few strokes. Down. Diagonal. Cross. Down. Diagonal. Cross. And in the monotony I find myself in quiet meditation, that tranquil spot that lives in me often when I'm working. Maybe it's why I paint, and why I get so anxious to get back after a long weekend or a busy few days.

I've started to find the same meditative powers in the repetitious activities I compulsorily complete each day. Folding a mountain of clothes. Wiping down the table. Changing a diaper. Putting on shoes. Filling up a sippy cup. My hands are memorizing these works too.

The whole process is making me feel so womanly.

(and now, for those of you who only check back here to see pictures of The Lou, here you are:)

Lincoln Park is so magical


thepalmierifamily said...

I can see more hair on that head little miss Lou! I love you sharing your feelings of your work and the process. It's new and fun for me, and if I could ever paint straight I think I would love it too!

Cindy said...

This is beautiful, Paige. The art of painting and the art of mothering so wonderfully intertwined.....thanks for the uplifting thoughts.

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