Making art - it's not as easy as it looks
It begins in the art store. I skulk in and choose the perfect canvas. I lay them all out and look at them. Some are square. Some are rectangular. After many minutes one of them speaks to me and I take it to the counter. Maybe this is the one. Maybe this time the painting will be spectacular and what is in my mind will be expressed through my hands.
I park at the art studio.
The artists are hovering around their canvas and we mutter our greetings. Paint is being gathered as jars open.
The model arrives.
She is choreographed.
The music has four beats. I synchronise.
Everything is working out for me. The bells are chiming and angels are singing. Each morsel of paint is perfectly formed. The air is sweet and the canvas bounces softly beneath my brush. The colours are heaven sent, and the model is looking in the perfect direction.
Clouds gather and thunder rolls. The paint turns to shit and the canvas starts to squeak. The composition crumbles and walls fall around me. The pose is stiff and her hands are sausages. Her third eye grows and it looks like someone’s punched her in the jaw. I scream and shout in my mind but out loud I say sweetly ‘can you put your hands back to where they were?’
‘Let’s make tea’, someone cries.
Tea is poured. Biscuits are offered. I breathe deeply. ‘I can do this’ I tell myself. ‘I’ve done this before. I can do this.’
I press the paint off the brush. I replace her hand. I move her head. I breathe deeply. I dab paint. A little squeeze here and a tidy up there. Add colour. Take away colour. Add colour. Clean brush. Only 200 meters to go, I’ve got this, I can do this. Temperatures are rising and sirens start squawking. The gun has fired and the crowd is screaming. I push pull squeeze brush wipe scratch scrape remove replace focus. Sweat is streaming. Focus. The brush is flying wildly around the canvas. Paint that has never been made before gets made in a second. Holes are patched. Light is found. Shadows are darkened. 20 meters to go. I wipe my brow and get out a fresh brush, I spill the oil but I don’t care. There’s paint in my mouth I spit it out. 10 meters. I scream as I pull out every last breath and ounce of energy and brandish the brush into the canvas as I cross the finish line.
Exhausted. Onto to the nearest chair.
A colleague offers me a drink.
We breathe in the finishing dust of oil and hope to God when we return to the canvas it is our best piece.
But it’s okay.
It’s got merit.
We peruse each others work. That line, that line there, now that’s a beautiful line. ‘Come look at this line’. We umm and ahh over that beautiful line. ‘What about this colour?’ ohhh it’s beautiful.
We carry our paintings to our cars, homes and studios.
We head towards the sunset.
It’s been a good effort.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day. I think tomorrow will be the day I create that painting I can see in my mind.
In fact, I’m sure of it.
Paintings half way to finished...
GreetI am a yoga teacher, author and artist.
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