Breakthrough or Breakdown? As a painter sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between the two. These terms are difficult to distinguish because one is Positive and one in negative. I think at times a breakthrough may seem as a breakdown at first.
Tonight (12/11/2007) I worked for three hours in my studio on a painting that I have been working on for three to four weeks. Like many paintings that I work on for large amounts of time I have high expectations for the results. My thinking behind this is that you spend a lot of time and the results should show through. The more time spent, the better the result. This means that with a painting that takes a lot of time the artist has more pressure to produce a quality product. Nobody wants to spend three weeks on something and have nothing to show for it. Part of me feels like that is what happened tonight. I feel as if I was building a fence for for a month and today the wind blew over. This is the part of me that would consider what happened to me tonight a breakdown.
Another part of me well feels the opposite. It's written in my artist statement that a painter should not be concerned with the outcome of the painting. The reason I have this in my artist statement is to remind myself that a painting should be about the process. Tonight when I worked on the painting I changed course. I abandoned my original vision of the completed painting and forged new waters. I painted with feeling with bold color and emotion. I feel in painting this way I was setting a standard for paintings to come. I can consider tonight a breakthrough because I am now painting with energy again.
Tonight I was really thinking about how the painting process relates to life. While working on the painting I thought about my upbringing. I thought about how that the things that happened to me when I was younger never disappear. These memories and habits that I acquired are what made me who I am today. Throughout life good things and bad things happen to you. Some people are tuff because people bullied them when they were little. Some people have a lack of trust in people because people they cared about let them down. It's the experiences that affect us and the way we deal with them that shape us.
I thought of how this relates to my painting process. While I was painting I noticed the image that I was painting from had an orange spill on it. It was a paint drop that had landed on the image while I was painting. So I decided since I was painting from this image and it had an orange drop on it, then in my painting I would include the orange mark. So I did, I added an orange glaze to the painting. Then I decided I liked that so I added another paint drop to the image I was painting from and tried to reproduce that on the painting. I went a little overboard with this and before I new it my paint image and my painting had orange glazes all over the place. Now the painting was completely changed. Now that the painting was changed the question is how was I going to deal with it? If the painting changes for the better or worse that orange layer would never be obsolete, even if all the orange disappeared. That orange still effects the outcome of the painting. Just as in somebody's life who overcame a drug addiction or cancer. It may of may them stronger, or weaker. They may do a good job of hiding that it ever happened, but it is still there. It is exciting to think something good can come from everything. That is what the orange means to me.