Body in knots, head in a muddle. I keep thinking I can get to the bottom of the thoughts -- if I just keep pulling them out one by one, I'll come to the end, or The Answer. It's faulty, to say the least. It's a trap.
I did a little of a lot of things today, nothing felt very satisfying. And of course I blow it up to be so huge that the daubs and swishes of paint that I put down today were NOT GOOD and VERY UGLY and WHAT DOES IT MEAN ABOUT ME AND MY FUTURE. So easy to get stuck there... then I go to the thinking, determined to think every last thought; to think an answer, to think relief.
I know I am ornery and tight and caught up on these same familiar snags. I wanted to do something NOT MYSELF -- how did I end up doing this utterly and completely MYSELF mark on the canvas? And I don't know how to make a different mark, so I'm stuck with this daub-daub, wipe-wipe approach that is maddening, and my colors are all wrong, and on and on.
I went to mess up the two encaustic collages I made years ago when Auden was a baby, because it had worked so well with the "There Is a Design" piece, and that felt so good.
Now I've covered up too much with paint. Patchy calico paint that's at once too dark and too chalky and makes no sense and there's no sense of freedom in the brushstrokes, just that same dense willfulness, contrived and badly executed.
Struggling with each layer.
Struggling with painting in general. I feel as though I'm on the verge of breaking through something SOMETHING and this period before the breakthrough is agonizing. Full of doubt and distress, so uncomfortable to hesitate making any mark, to be dissatisfied with every mark. I mix the same colors in the same proportions and wonder why I get the same mud every time
Reworking these hand pieces, I'm baffled. What do I do next? Which color and where? I'm fighting with the surface, the composition. Trying to stay available to answers that are still unseen. Unseeable. So hard to comprehend that there could be any kind of resolution. How can I call myself a painter when I hate painting and don't know how to do it? So go the voices in my head.
Can I allow that each piece is important, even if it's never right or beautiful or finished?
I read a quote by Albert Einstein: "It's not that I'm so smart, it's that I stay with a problem longer."
So I'm trying to stay with the problem.