The Process of Painting

I remember years ago, perhaps around the time when I was a graduate student and single mother of a little boy, I was asked what I really wanted to do with my life – or perhaps I asked myself the question, in a conversation. Anyhow, I found myself replying: I could paint an abstract picture of it. I was quite certain of that much.
Yet, I did not know anything of abstract art at the time. However, it seemed the only way to point to my felt sense of meaning beyond words while using words.
Much later, approaching my fifties, and settling in a solitary life, I found myself experimenting with painting abstracts to express states or questions or clarify something in my mind. I had by then read a little about Vassily Kandinsky’s notion of painting abstracts.
Without any sense of artistic value, I know when one of my paintings ‘works’, for me at least, when it is finished. A sigh of relief, a shift of energy – something released: That confirms it.
The paradox is that the process of painting may lead to the release, yet the product may rather be witness to the state that needed to be released.


~ by Barbara S on January 17, 2013.

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