When starting to paint, I always have an image in my head that I want to come out on the canvas. It never does. My hand must have its own brain. Or the neurons bumping around in my brain go haywire before they reach my hand. What appears under my hand is usually something wildly different from the original thought. However, this strange hand brain makes some fun things happen. Maybe my neurons start to dance before they reach my hand. My hand does its own dance on the canvas to some unknown tune my brain can’t hear. If I let go and permit the haywire neurons to continue the happy hand dance, my creation begins to take flight and become free.
However, if I fight the crazy neurons in my hands and work on something more controlled, it loses the spontaneity that gives a painting life and energy. The painting may become more true to form but has no spark.. A person commented on one of my paintings, where the dancing neurons made the hand paint a red lake instead of the more controlled and average blue-green of most lakes. This person said she didn’t think she had ever seen the lake in question look red. My thought was, “Of course not! You have to have dancing neurons to turn a blue-green lake red.” And why have a blue-green lake when you can have a red one? The red lake has life!
Houston artist, Alissa Fereday tweets some wonderful daily quotes on her twitter site, @ITweetart. Today’s quote is attributed to the Swiss artist, Paul Klee. Klee states, “The painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen.” I may see a blue-green lake but a red one will be seen when the dancing neurons take control of the painting hand.
The hard part is to continue to allow the neurons the freedom to transmit dance to the painting hand. Resist control. Dance on!!!