It is not the destination.
It IS the Journey.
Here I am. 50 years old. Still figuring out what painting means to me. Well, not in every sense. Not in the deep down in my gut way, the way it has pulled me deep down into my interior... in that sense I've always known. But understanding the relationship between me and painting and the world, that's another story.
I finished another painting this morning. I thought it was finished a few days ago, but I was wrong. That happens a lot.
Here's what it looked like two days ago:
Not too different, but not quite right. Quite right is a very understated emotional moment when I have pulled out everything the painting is able to give me. I just know it, if I'm paying attention. Paying attention to what? Paying attention to the painting, while equally paying attention to my gut. By that I mean a feeling deep inside. A deep feeling that is truthful, not "nice" not "pretty" not what I necessarily "want" to hear.
I believe Truth is something you feel. It's a heavy and quiet feeling that slows down my breathing and centers me. I know it and I trust it. The more I practice this the more I have no need to react to anyone else's "truth" and, therefore, I find it easier to be in the world without being swallowed up by the world.
This is why I paint.
I looked back at the photos I took of this painting in it's many stages of development. As it evolved it had many looks, and some are probably more appealing visually that the final product. Luckily for me I have no longer set my sights on painting for profit. I'm not worried about what other people want, what would be prettier, more pleasing and more trendy. What I'm worried about is pulling something out of a painting. Something that is inside of me, something that is in the air around me. Something in between me and all the forces outside of this body and mind I reside in.
And then that being, be it a man, a woman, god, mind... whatever that was it has been swallowed up by the parts again, but this time the grid has become an organic web. This was a really pretty part of the journey. I wish I had taken a better photo. I think in the future I will set up a good camera with a tripod and be ready to capture these stages in a good high res file... just in case I want to print it up really large and enjoy this part. It is a beautiful place. I liked being there.
That little red man wants to stop, he wants to hide and he wants to sleep, but he keeps reaching and he becomes a pattern on the wing of a butterfly. The butterfly needs him to let go, in order to break out of its chrysalis. It doesn't need him to hold on and be "strong." It needs him to change with the other changes that are happening all around him. Not to be frozen in time, not to be afraid, not to be lazy, stubborn or proud. Not to follow and not to lead, just to evolve.
He doesn't let go, he is unable to.