Saturday, June 17, 2006

Playing with Paint

A wonderful friend, Jolene, noticed that I used the phrase "play with my paint" To me that is the natural process of making art. We so often call it a "work" of art. When art becomes WORK for me, then I may no longer make art.

As in all of life, your vocation should be something that feels like "play" rather than drudgery (work). This does not mean that you can't be intense about the art. I doesn't mean that you can't be focused strongly. It means that it should be a joy and something that you "don't want to stop."

Watch children playing (or if you can remember your own childhood, as I can) and notice that they are very focused, intent and in the moment. The act of play is all they know and all that matters. The ordinary rules are suspended (unless mom yells "I TOLD you not to play ___ in the house!") The child has stepped out of ordinary time into that magical realm where time changes and hours seem like minutes. The adults say "look at them in their own little world." BUT that world is large, sometimes larger than the world those adults inhabit. This is where I go when I paint. My child returns and I am freed from the bonds of reality and my inner world comes out in paint and collage. It is an imperfect rendition, true. It is also more real than the desk I sit at 8 hours a day in my "real" job.

Let the children play. Those children that you have repressed and oppressed in your "grown-up" body, let them out to play. You are an artist.


nici said...

You are so right! I DO need some play time. Right after I tell my kids to quit playing golf in the lving room. (I wish I were kidding about this.)

Ruth said...

Hi Gene, I'm so happy to find you have a blog!

Thanks for reminding me of the sweet "when time stood still" childhood experiences...not just making art, but even the games of hide and seek...simon says, etc...I would absolutely'zone out'. I remember vacation bible school every year...and not always because of the religious teachings...but from the unlimited amount of art supplies and new projects to take home. "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end.."(:<(

Anyway, excuse the long more thing and then I'll leave you when I'm in that wonderful's not Momma calling me to dinner that breaks the feeling...but the phone or a knock on the door...reality does have a way of creeping back in..doesn't it? I almost feel guilty when I'm in my playmode...and that's just not right...

You work is beautiful are truly gifted.

Tammy said...

I love it! Playing with art has not come easily to me. I'm a perfectionist and it was incredibly difficult to let it flow and not worry about the outcome. I'm doing better now!! Sharpies help!!