12″x12″ mixed media painting on paper covered canvas. The sides are 3″ and are a continuum of the painting.
This painting is available HERE
Traces of me are in everything I do. I know this. All of my paintings are autobiographical, in some way. Often as an artist we try to think up an original idea or subject to paint. How can we make our own mark? Be original? Do something that says ‘maria pace-wynters’? How do we get that across.
Sometimes, most times, these thoughts are not very helpful. They stifle us, the artist. They get us way too much in our head. I can’t think my painting into being, it takes action…doing …feeling … going with it. It takes faith in knowing that if we follow where the painting wants us to go that something genuinely ours will happen. That feels risky at times, scary and not at all in control.
Being in control is absolute suicide for an artist like me. I really need to listen to the painting. And yet, I really hate being out of control. I really like to know what is happening every hour of every day, week, month. I constantly write lists and check them off as I accomplish each task. I find it so ironic that the working process that I know works for me goes so against who I am in everyday life so drastically. It is actually very frustrating and is perhaps why it took me 40 years to figure it out, or at least to accept it. My six-year-old already has the same process. She never knows what she is making when she pulls out stuff from the recycling box and starts to create. She just goes with the flow and doesn’t get hung up on plans.
Here are a couple of quotes from Flannery O’Connor, who, it seems, had very similar creative process:
“I write to discover what I know.”
― Flannery O’Connor
“I must tell you how I work. I don’t have my novel outlined and I have to write to discover what I am doing. Like the old lady, I don’t know so well what I think until I see what I say; then I have to say it over again.”
― Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor
“Wouldn’t it be better for you to discover a meaning in what you write than to impose one? Nothing you write will lack meaning because the meaning is in you”.