This painted hand holds a key to a new discovery. How to lose my way in art, and find that this is a good thing. In a recent post I wrote about how I am discovering the image in the course of making it; and am finding that seeing where the images are going is as important as finishing the painting.
The dream, and so the painting, then wandered into a group
of Jewish people in a discussion circle,
and went through a construction site
and between parked red cars,
before ending up in a junk yard where two people are in
a tableau fraught with tension and a small violence.
Have you lost your way?
So here was the finished painting, and its originating question that became its title. Peculiar. Disconnected. The parts do not make a larger whole no matter what story I tell. At least I have created a sensation of becoming truly lost.
But wait. There is another part not added in. A small drawing in my journal when I first began this work back in December. Some years ago I wrote about having Aphantasia, a condition of having no inner images in the mind. When I close my eyes, I just see black.
But for a moment, in December, this was not true. I was SO frustrated by the complexity of the different parts to this dream, and could not figure out how to bring them together on a 12″ x 16″ panel. So as a last resort I sat in meditation, asking for something, anything to appear. Not imagining that anything would. And then this flashed across my inner sight. Not the words or arrows but the face of Pacal, the ordering of little bits of dream, and the streamers of something surrounding it all.
I realized I had lost my way from this most important inner instruction. I had left out the streamers from Pacal’s mouth encircling the dream images. This awareness of a missing part created a pause of an entirely different scale. What if I ruined the painting by trying to add the streamers? And how would I add these, technically? And where?
I read again the sentence I wrote at the bottom of the page: I have no idea what I am doing, but I’m learning something.
I decide I am learning something about risk.
The only way to learn about risk is to take it.
The black expands so now the hand with keys is coming from some other place. An eraser becomes another brush.
A way out is created. Just get off the car and get into the blue ground and the black opens and the risk taken is rewarded.
Have you lost your way?
I hope so.