Monday, July 7, 2014

Hope Floats and Soul Feels--really, there's an explanation for this!

I can just feel people worried about my mental state on this one.  I actually painted this in June, right after that "Phone Call in Red."  I did the same thing, saturating the Bristol page with copious amounts of water, but to a greater degree this time around.  I painted this one in green ink, and almost wished I had left it alone right there.  Something with the running green and starkness of white appealed to me, but I kept going. 

It made me think of the 1956 French Picasso documentary, "Le Mystere Picasso" ("The Mystery of Picasso"),--NOT that I think I'm Picasso!  But towards the end of the film, he paints a picture and you want him to just stop.  It's wonderful.  But he keeps going...and there's another moment where you think, STOP!  You'll ruin it!  And onward he goes, painting over, blocking out, on and on, until even he admits that on this one, he went too far.  He couldn't save it any longer.  But as I lost my first strictly green and white painting, the one where the eyes conveyed more apprehension than sadness, I thought of Pablo.  And then I thought, maybe you can never get to be a great artist, or at least the best artist you can be, if you're not willing to destroy your own art.

I read once where someone said you should show the process of your creations.  And I do, at times.  But more often than not, I have entered some sort of Zen zone.  Even I don't know what I'm creating.  Most of the time I don't.  And in those moments, I never think to myself to stop and take a picture of what I'm doing.  I WISH I had that green and white photo, but as Al Pacino said of the NYC rooftop playgrounds of his youth, "that world is gone."

I have some need to explain what this is about, but why?  Is it less artistic, because I feel that I want to explain?  On one hand, because I'm not a stop, take-a-picture-along-the-way painter, I think that my words are my photo timeline.

Anyway, people think I'm off my rocker, but it's my blessing/curse of feeling deeply that's at work, not mental illness. 

I WAS watching the 2008 film, "Hope Floats" with Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr. two Saturdays ago.  That film is a tough one to watch.  I think it's great, but there often is one humiliating event after emotional upheaval after another.  I have to admit, I was crying hard, and that green running around the nose--well, it couldn't be more apropos, because that's the exact, snotty cry I was having.

I saw shapes within the background of ghostly, strange figures, and I brought them forward.  I wanted to post this pic, but I actually feared people would think, "Geez, she's SO depressing."  OR, it could be like the old lady, who upon seeing a painting of mine (which is a little scary) in a recent art show, loudly saying, "Oh, I don't like this kind of art."  Oh my gosh, I actually cracked up on that one as I watched and heard her reaction.

You see, my sweet paintings are much more popular, but I don't always feel that way.  And I don't always want to paint that way.  What I want to do is get rid of the knot inside of me that builds with more complex emotions, and that only happens by painting and releasing those feelings.  See the basket on the girl's cheek?  I wanted to indicate that I feel the need to catch all of my emotions--not just the happy ones.  The curious, critical figures to the right?  They're the ones I feared judgment from.  The woman creation is frustrated--she just wants happy art.  The man is trying to figure out what the hell is happening.  Look, these people represent no one.  Just the meandering contemplations of my mind.  At this point in my life, the majority of time I am pretty much past the judgments; but for this one, one that is so personal, I felt overly exposed, raw...I didn't want to post it, and I actually was surprised at myself for feeling so trepidatious.

To the left...the hands and arms encircling/supporting "HOPE" that is floating.  Seems good in theory, but sometimes, you eye that concept from a it really possible?  Because I'd be lying if I didn't say at times I doubt it (Hope, that is).  I think, try to recall all I've watched and read in "The Secret," but baby, a veces (sometime), it's hard.

My favorite line of the entire movie comes from Harry Connick, Jr.'s character, Justin Matisse.  Sandra Bullock, upon realizing how talented he is with building houses, tells him he should try to make money from his talent rather than just going around painting walls.  He tells her (regarding the exploitation of your talent/dream) the following: 
"You find something you love and you twist it and torture it and try to make money at it. And at the end, you can't find a trace of what you started out loving."
Maybe that's what I'm trying to say, too.  I have to make these, non-pleasant things.  In the end, they mean more to me than all the pretty ones.


  1. Wow, you really went deep on this one. I enjoyed the explanation, and the painting.

  2. Thank you, Pam! I feared no one would ever wade through the whole thing, but I couldn't stop myself--not from painting it and not from writing about it. Thank you again.

  3. Wonderful walk through the making of this painting, Jill. I don't think step-by-step photos would have helped at all, certainly not your process. I must disagree with the photo shoot recommendation. How can you be in the process if you are constantly getting outside of it to document it. Follow your here, your gut, your instinct.

  4. Thank you so much, Lesley. (-: Yes, I can't pull myself out of the "making state" even if I wanted to! Thank you for your encouragement to stay true to myself and for your great insights regarding art making on your blog. (-: