Finding joy in painting is an unexpected surprise. A blank canvas and tubes of colour spread around me, I wonder what will happen. Mix colours on the smooth palette, then brush to canvas and I watch as the images reveal themselves.
This week I’m working on a painting inspired by Eva Cassidy’s version of ‘Fields of Gold.’ I play the song on repeat and invite the brush to lead me through the music without questioning anything. This is what happened:
A week before I launched this year’s Earth Day project I painted the picture at the top of this post. It started as a blue flower and then it slowly became this. I use an intuitive approach to painting. At the time I wasn’t clear on what the painting was saying to me. Then a couple days after launching the call for submissions for the Earth Day e-Chapbook I realized the connection.
I need to celebrate Earth and I’d love for you join me. It has been hard in recent times with the strain on our water, air, and land. Some days I can’t read the news. I’m worried our planet will ‘crack’ one day.
My new hobby is intuitive painting. One evening over the Christmas break I cuddled up in my favourite chair with a blanket, colouring on an app on my iPad while Netflix hummed along in the background. I was so happy and relaxed.
Would I feel even happier and more relaxed if I used real paints and a canvas instead of a screen and stylus? This thinking felt genius level.
I begin by putting a blank canvas out for a day. “What do you want to become?” I ask. The painting at the top of this post starts as a river and turns into a dragon.
Over the break I started playing with acrylic paints to create paintings as though they were poems. I had just finished reading Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch and was inspired to improvise more often. I wanted to show up to the canvas and paint a poem without words. I gave myself permission to paint things I didn’t know how to draw. And then using the paintings, I’ve started writing poems.
Poem Painting Collection #1: In Transition