starting over

starting a new piece is like finding yourself locked in a trunk and only knowing that there’s an outside, but not yet seeing it. scratching around, you find hand holds, find that you’re actually on the side of a mountain and you have vertigo. the handholds change as you examine them, looking for certainty, turn into caves, finally. and, on the cave’s walls are old scratchings of images: messages from your ancestors, random notices, water markings, showing you how to open up your small gestures, instead, into the world of animals and their curious teeth and yawns of boredom. that’s when the work becomes really hard, because that’s when you first confront the audience, the reality that the painting must have life for the viewer. you have to remember that you yourself are the viewer, that you’re painting something so you’ll have something to see. there’s not enough to see as it is; the world needs more nature, not less. you become ‘nature’.

 

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