My mood improved this morning when I gave a name to the painting of yesterday. The name is Encumbered Flow (I wrote this a week ago).
I had a not-so-good feeling about this painting and I thought about different ways to change it by adding more things.
Maybe I could change the contrast between the brush lines and the squarish shapes of the colors, by painting the background. This would leave the drawing’s flow more clear. But I would lose the truth of the picture. So I left it as it is.
Eliminating the white ‘windows’ inside of the flowing shape was another possibility. It could let the drawing flow better too.
Do you see this?
The white little spaces are like interesting out-of-context things that attract you to them while making the complete flow less important. So the flow feels hesitant.
Maybe it is not important to finish the flowing shape’s route? This may even be a good thing, when, for example, you walk in a new place and the interest in the local details causes you to not finish the route that you decided to take.
But a painting is a whole route thing, isn’t it? You have to see all of it if you want to feel the composition. The composition is the most important thing in a painting.
And maybe this is not true any more? A person can choose to live in one interesting place all his life and never visit any other towns or villages, and he can have a fascinating life. In the same way, he can define his own little composition in a part of the painting. It all depends on what interests him and what he wants to do or be or experience.
You see? This is where this painting is coming from. Everything I thought before is being challenged now.
Not that there are right things and wrong things, and my job is to find the right ones. No, there is not even one right thing. There is not even one wrong thing. There is the choice. So I chose to leave the painting as it is. By giving it the name Encumbered Flow I acknowledged what I did not like about it before. Now I like it for being a truthful description. I don’t fight with it any more. I am at peace. And I am free now to start another painting.
I used to be a graphic designer and an illustrator. I became involved with the Chan Meditation Center and studied meditation and Buddhist knowledge with the late Master Sheng-yen from Taiwan. For twelve years I was in a process of deepening my meditation. I had many more experiences and insights and my life changed. After having illustrated more than 40 children’s books and writing two of them, I left this career too and went to New York University to study art therapy.