Out of Mire

My university art professor told us that painting is thought intensive, compared to print making, which is labour intensive. It’s true. I stared at this four foot by four foot white canvas for NINE days trying and failing to grasp at some kind of idea for the piece before I finally daubed some black paint and threw my brush at the canvas, making the first mark. There, I’ve started. Forced to continue to completion (with the due date and class critique in two days) I kept throwing, thrashing and flicking black paint at my canvas. After nine days of painters’ block, this was a form of venting. Thirty minutes of “venting” later I took a step back and stared at the messy canvas for the rest of the class. What to do??

I thought about how I was struggling to coax a vision or message out of this piece. And in thinking of struggle I thought about how sometimes we wallow and thrash in various life-mires…but that there’s always a way out. That God, in His grace and love, lifts me out…sometimes despite myself. Then it came to me….fragile and delicate wings against a heavy darkness. And so finished the painting in the next class.

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