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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Letting Go

The Letting Go   oil on canvas   40 x 30 x 1.5
of all kinds of things is scary...letting go of habits, of crutches, of perfectionism.  And yet, letting go allows for many more opportunities, more confidence, and an increasingly greater realm of creativity.  When I was a child, I took swimming lessons.  As a below-average swimmer, I always took care to choose the lane in the pool that was on the edge, just in case I needed to hang on to the wall as a security device.  After a few sessions, my instructor caught on to my trick and told me to take the center lane.  That was when I learned to swim.  By increasing our drawing skills, and by letting go of photographs we are able to achieve more freedom in our paintings.  And that is indeed the most difficult thing to do.  As children, we are able to doodle all over the page without terror.  As adults, we somehow become mired in reality and glued to details that are actually unimportant.  In the long run, I believe that we will only achieve freedom when we let go of our visual crutches.

My actress friend calls this "being off book".  Essentially, this means that it is only when you have memorized the script, and can put it down, that you are able to be creative with your own interpretation of your character.

My current read is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.  On page 578, (for those of you with an investigative inclination), is a description of paintings that illustrate my point....and a lengthy discussion at that.  Too much perfectionism deadens.  The masters are indeed masters at the creating the illusion of the subject, while using the paint, the strokes and their hands, as well as the subject.

Let go..............if only one hand at a time.

"Letting Go" is currently on exhibit at Group Ten Gallery in Kent, Ohio.