Riding the Wave

Thursday, 18 October 2012

It's a funny feeling when you discover that you are sort of excited and passionate about something that you never thought you'd ever feel excited and passionate about.  Those things that you come upon occasionally that open up the child in you.  Little Susie loves messing about with paint.  Who woulda thunk it?  I certainly never knew I wanted to play with paint, although why it's such a mystery to me that I should feel this way is another mystery in itself. 

I know hardly anything about painting.  I love doing it.  However, I'm not very good at it, and I have no technique to speak of.  Here, I'll show you what I mean ~ here's one I prepared earlier :)

There's a lot of things to trip us up from creating.  A scan at the interwebs and all those professionals who seem to know what they're doing, producing beautiful things with their eyes closed (apparently), while you're bumbling about in the dark.  The starkness of the blank page or the blank screen.  But there are various innovative and creative ways to dirty up the situation and take the pressure off yourself so that you can just get onto it and make a start, dammit!

Of course, the picture in your head is never, ever what ends up being the picture on the page, or the sentence.  As if there isn't enough to trip you up and stop you painting or writing, even that one simple element, the difference between what you have in your head and what comes out of your fingers, can stall you if you let it.

But the thing is, nothing is as you imagine it is from your head.  And sometimes you can get so caught up on what's in your head and how it hasn't transferred that you can't actually see what's in front of you.  And then you're done for ~ away from the is, trolling round and round in your tedious mindruts till you remember, again, to climb out

I'm really quite happy with this thing I've painted.  Even though it's nothing like what I wanted to represent (ghost gums at dusk).  Even though I've never seen ghost gums like that and those leaves are really sorta crappy.  Even though 17 other things I might pick out to not like about it, despite all of those flaws, I still really like this painting.  Because I painted it.

I like this painting more than anybody else will like it because of its very flaws.  Because it hasn't reached any heights.  Because it's not all that good, but I am still impressed with the endeavour I made.  Something came from my imagination, out of my fingers and onto the page.

This way of seeing things is a shelf that I climb up onto.  I can't always find it, though;  sometimes the ledge is hidden from my view.  But it sits just above my perfectionism, and from here the world expands outwards and once again, you're riding the wave.


  1. Hi Sue - I like your painting, it has a very Australian feel to it. I guess painting is a bit like writing, the more you do it, the better you will get.

  2. Be that wave, Sue. I like the surf. Perch on that ledge often:)

  3. The painting speaks in many ways to what you have said. The foliage, the life and creativity in the picture is somewhat out of reach, but still it's alive and growing, and the purple as the environment or background, maybe expresses your passion for the experience of painting itself — a magical gift, to grow with, to reach for, to learn from.

  4. That's just about where it's at, Sarah. It's funny how fond I feel of this static little thing. I look forward to making more ... and improving my technique ... but hopefully enjoying the ride more than fretting about judging its validity. Which is exactly why I put it up in the first place :)

  5. I like the surf, too, Harry. I think next time I feel like I'm on the rocks, to realise that no, actually, I'm the surf :)

  6. I agree, Harry! And thanks :)

  7. I can relate to this. And I love the painting too!


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