Freewriting – splashing words across the page in textures and colours of emotion and thought. I write, struggling to see the lines that once appeared like spectres guiding me across the page in excited spirals of energy. I place the words in careful lines, flesh out thoughts to reach my quota, wondering if they will be just one more canvas set along the walls of my spirit. And yet, they want to come, these words that reach like ivy tendrils from deep within. I let them flow from my fingertips, reaching and grasping for the page, seeking the nourishment of sun and air, longing to come out of the dark winter of waiting to be spoken. I write, the words tearing through the rents in their rush to root upon the page.
I paint with the same guarded abandon seeking something I once glimpsed but now can’t see. Using tools dusty from unuse I risk letting images find their way from within. I wonder if that artist I felt in those years of painting is still there. I can’t know without trying and yet I can’t feel her stirring within.
It is a sort of blindness. I set out the canvas and look seeing nothing more than an empty canvas. I can’t see it’s potential. I can’t see the promise I felt when I picked the canvas of that particular size from among the multitude on the shelf. It is emptiness, an accusing façade of once knowing something within that seems like a long ago dream.
So I clear a place in the room, drape the painting canvas across the floor, pull out easle and paint tray, fill the cup with water, wash the dust off my painting palette, and reach into the drawer holding the tubes unused for so long. I choose greens and browns, purples and rose, copper, and greys, not caring if they are regular or heavy body paints. I have no plan, just a canvas and a longing.
I remember another painting that begin with paint wet enough to drip in organic streaks across the surface bringing to life ethereal lines that only my artist within could see. It became an inner garden, a place that was mystical in its patterns. Perhaps, there is another garden hidden from my view.
So I dilute the paint with a dripping brush and let it slide on its path down the surface, again, and yet again, cobalt teal and phthalo green mixing and playing their own game of chase, merging and pushing against each other to form the background for what?
I still can’t see. It is pretty but still empty of ideas. So with abandon I take the Payne’s grey heavy body paint and streak it onto the canvas straight from the tube. With the end of the brush I move the paint until feathers form. The image begins to have a direction.
Colour by colour the image forms. I have yet to know what it will be but it is becoming, not a masterpiece but an expression. A beginning again.