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Not to think about it is the thought

Big event of the day: I picked up my canvas this morning. Fifty-seven yards, six feet wide! Ready to roll, literally. It’s been six weeks since I ordered it, expecting it to be there in a week or two. Meanwhile I’ve run out of paintings I feel I can “fix”. That part of my painting process is going to get a good long rest!

Usually after a gap in working, I make a big leap.  Things open up.  Change.  I find that’s true in playing the piano as well.  I’m not looking for change right now.  I just want to continue where I left off.  It was already changing.

I’ve been teaching abstract painting to a small group of people.  Today one person commented (and others agreed) how often it is the first painting that works so well and then it’s a struggle to get that freshness again.  That’s when we think too much.  A well trained artist knows how to let accidents happen and then how to take advantage of them.  It’s not about thought at that point.

Another student was silently singing to herself little nonsense melodies.  She described it as a way to return to her childhood mind.  A way to meander through the painting process without too much thought.  It worked for her.  I always used to need music to block out the thoughts in my mind.  Now I’ve graduated to talk shows.  And I actually don’t need to have the radio on anymore.  In fact I’ve become so absorbed in the process of painting I often don’t even hear it.

Just think:  tomorrow I can start stretching canvases again!


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