These days, the feeling that I deserve to take time, get out and treat myself to a sweet, slowed-down day of drawing has become a scarce commodity. On those rare occasions, I feel I'm trying to sprint my way through a marathon. An urgent race to find a spot that says, ah, this is the place. Then rarely enough time to reference a sense of light before it changes. Not enough time to work a mark of paint, seeing it dry too soon as my strokes mock me like scars. Never enough time to finish before I'm squinting in the twilight, at a ghost of what attracted me in the first place. Faster, faster, paint faster!
As I scurry to relax, I think, if only I had more time. Grappling to embrace that feeling, long ago, of calm that once washed over me. Dripping, dabbing, scratching, blotting. Because this is it, my day to paint, I scramble to outrun the sun and produce something that will justify the time that has been graciously given. Inevitably to find the mountain has brought forth a mouse.
Woe is me, the tortured artist.
Then today, tucked away on a forgotten page, I came across this.
Don't get me wrong, it's no masterpiece. I can hardly express the disappointment I felt when my efforts on this one were exhausted. I still see a hurried, over-worked blob. It still looks desperate to me. I still remember what I hoped it to be. And it still does not feel worthy of the time spent.
I know it's not a bottle of wine, getting better with age. I'm sure the physical architecture has not shifted to compliment my sketch. I know the paint did not re-arrange itself into a better composition, or the colors become more true.
But, something changed. Maybe my eyes are going, maybe I'm just desperate to post something. But, I see something else there and I don't hate it so much anymore.
I makes me remember why I started painting in the first place. To relax. So, maybe now when I find the time, I will just paint. Not to justify time or feel accomplishment. Not to produce a painting, but just to be there, painting. That way, when something is finished, it's purpose will simply be to remind me of the day, where I was and what I was lucky enough to be doing. And if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of my time it won't be because I was rushed or felt pressured. I can just put it away for a while and peek back every couple months with new eyes. Agree to disagree with myself for the moment and consider that eventually, I may come around to a different perspective.
I am hopeful. Maybe, because I know nothing changed here. But, time.