Pentimento or Zen and the dirty brushes

A week of frustration has been spend dealing only with the mechanics of painting, and not actually doing it. I have been working on handouts for my students, framing my work, buying supplies and all the necessary but uncreative things that art requires. I am reminded that every creative action has with it the mundane. Perhaps it is part of what separates the true artist from the one that just enjoys dabbling in an art. You have to have such a commitment to the craft that you WANT to do the mundane because you NEED to do the creative.

Pentimento. When I am painting I often add a layer over the original, transforming it and it transforming the one above. Each gains new meaning and understanding from the action of joining them. I think it is that with memories as well. As life brings more knowledge it adds a layer to the memory and the new and old both gain from the interaction. A teacher I had once referred to cleaning his oil paint-filled brushes as a zen moment for him. I was young, and had no understanding of what he meant. I can remember scoffing at it with fellow students after the class. And now, older and more committed to my art, I wash my brushes out in a peaceful sort of trance that eases me from the passion of creation to the normal thought patterns.

1 comment:

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

Nice muse! It is a zen moment, isn't it? Like the period at the end of a sentence.