March 2022: How to Paint a Thing

March 2022: How to Paint a Thing

Years ago I had a yoga instructor who would start every class in child’s pose or another restful place, and make sure we knew: “this is always available to you. You can come back here any time during the practice.” I would take that invitation seriously, sometimes spending half the yoga session or more just laying on my mat.

I still carry that reassurance: there is an easy place that was always available to me. It helps to start there, finding it over and over, to never lose track of how to make my way back to that spot.

So, before we move forward, I want to offer the same thing to you: swatching, making marks, and feeling them out - it’s always available to you. For the rest of your life, it will be there, welcoming you. No matter what kinds of art you make and grow into, this easy place is always yours.

Some days I feel ready to rise up out of that rest place and make marks that tell a story or challenge my eye. I want to paint a “something.” It can be satisfying and grounding to look carefully at a subject, and parse out the light and the shapes, bit by bit. To even take a break from finding marks that feel good - and just follow the edge of something. Whew. A slow breath.

So here we are now in month three and I thought it was time to start talking about how to paint a thing.

To start, I want to blur the line between art that is “of something” (representational art) and not (abstract art). Taking these ideas apart a bit has made it easier for me to move between the two, and makes them both feel more accessible.