i'm really really hoping...

...that the 'mighty oaks from little acorns' thing turns out to be true.

This week I've been doing some more painting, none of which would pass an O-level I'm afraid, but you have to start somewhere. I've been learning how the paint behaves and which brushes to use, and for the first time in my life I'm starting to understand the importance of pigments and colour mixing and all the things that you just aren't taught on a Textiles degree. It's frustrating because my mind is seeing big things that my hands can't yet produce, but I'm really enjoying it, and am starting to have a little more confidence in the medium.

I've also been doing a lot of thinking about the expectations we place on ourselves and asking myself some searching questions:

What if I didn't feel like I have to leave something of value in this life? What if everything was wiped at the end of each day?

What if nothing was attributed to individual effort anyway and we were all part of a whole, and it was a collaborative production?

What if I didn't feel I had to do 'something useful'? Who is determining what is useful anyway?

What if there's no pressure of time? What if it doesn't matter that I'm getting older because each day stands alone as a single entity, and this one is as precious, valuable and full of potential as one I lived through thirty years ago?

Scary? Wacky? Obvious? Liberating?


Claire said...

Hey Sue, I love the painting, I hope you are having fun with it and not finding it too frustrating. Further on down the track you'll look back at your work and be amazed at how far you've come and how much you've learnt.
My attempts at painting are very hit and miss but I enjoy the process and hope that each time I learn a little more.

Claire :}

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Goodness! It's definitely both the first and the last!
I think your acorns are lovely.

Kristina said...

A very serious and philosophical post, but just to make you feel better - these are the same questions that have been haunting me for almost the same amount of time. But... I'm glad you are starting new things - you can't master anything without actually doing it. So keep creating! Wish you loads of inspiration.

Mari Brown and Colourblob said...

I think you are on the right path with you paintings, I like the texture you have created... And you are having fun with it. Enjoyed your post and thoughts.

Acornmoon said...

I think we create because if we don't there is a sort of restless energy that cannot be contained. It has nothing to do with the desire to be successful or recognised, it is a more basic than that, if you have an itch, you scratch, if you are a creative person then you must create no matter if it is in the garden, the kitchen or studio, that urge has to be obeyed.

I like your acorns, you are very critical of your own work but you always produce quality. we were never taught technique, just left to find our own path, sometimes I read water colour instruction books and feel so ignorant but art is not a science, there are no absolutes.

On a completely different tack, inspired by an earlier post "no matter the time" I am putting the finishing touches to a sampler I started 26 years ago to celebrate the birth of our second child.

caireen said...

Some interesting thoughts here, Mouse - I think you are spot on with the creative collaboration - I think there is a creative whole which 'uses' us to create through, some stuff about free will thrown in there too! I cannot recommend strongly enough "simple abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach some interesting ideas about spiritual creative authentic living over a whole year (you can pick them up cheap on Amazon) - anyway, hope you are well and love the painting. Cx

Gigibird said...

the complexities of living differently and perhaps outside the boundaries of how we have been brought up and taught to expect and be is an interesting topic...
Do you think wanting to leave something or have a purpose is all bound up with self esteem?

Freeing ourselves of these constraints opens us up the endless possibilities.

Annie said...

Playing with paint ... one of the best kinds of fun!

Have you come across the Tibetan sand mandalas? They are ritually destroyed once complete and the materials from which they were made put back into the environment from whence they came.

Focusing on process not product has it's own benefits :D

Frances said...

Hello Sue.

I very much like both your acorn painting and also your thoughtful words.

Reading through the prior comments has also given me much to think about.

My undergraduate art education also did not teach me much about technique. It was just about expression, I guess. Later on, I enjoyed taking classes to learn more about drawing and various printmaking techniques. As for painting...I still read lots of books, experiment, and visit museums to wonder at it all.

I do love being sort of lost in the process, letting the artwork sort of lead me along.


Gilly said...

I do love your acorns! And I would hate that each day was wiped clean at the end. I think we need to leave a trail of something behind us.

I find each day now is something to be filled - not necessarily with doing, but thinking or whatever. I am annoyed with myself that I "wasted" days in my youth!

I think we have to be true to ourselves and not to the expectations of others.

And we have plenty more acorns if you run short! ;)

mmp said...

Liberating......and also scary

the one goes with the other.....and it's ok to be scared

ljw said...

I've been away and need to catch up on the last few postings

We've just come back from Spain where we went to visit the cave paintings at Altamira which are fantastic. No-one knows why the cave dwellers created these images. Did they, like we do now, have a concept of a future and want to leave their mark? Or, like us, did they just create for the sheer pleasure of making marks and recognisable images?

Jackie said...

Lovely lovely work and interesting musings.
Each day standing alone...thats a tough one because we seem to be the sum of experiences . What's real? How things were on a certain day or how they are today?
I could go on ..but I won't.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

So pretty. Love acorns.