Ever participated in a community-wide read? Typically, people in a town or institution come together through the reading and discussion of a common book.
Sylvia and I participate in a community of two: ourselves!
We've been friends for 40+ years and we've lived 1000 miles away from each other for about 35 of those years. Many times one of us will get two copies of a book, send one as a gift for the other's birthday or other occasion, and keep the second copy.
Sylvia got us Natalie Goldberg's Living Color this December.
Yesterday I wrote about my experience of abstract art. Today I opened Living Color, pulled out my bookmark, and started reading where I'd left off in Goldberg's narrative. Here's what I bumped into:
Fear rippled through my body. How, I thought, does a painter just paint? Where does it come from without an outside image—a horse, a plane—to draw first? How does one trust standing before a blank canvas? Each thought brought more fear. I am afraid, I told myself. I am afraid of the void … I want to paint without lines. Others have done it. Why should it be so frightening? (p. 123)
Like Goldberg, about a year ago I found myself wanting to just paint. Without an outside image. And I keep wanting to, inviting myself again and again to stand in front of the void. Recently, I did so on the largest scale I'd ever done. Not easy. Not for me.
Today, I worked on a small scale. Started with a 4x5" card that I'd half-covered with stripes in October. Wondered where it would lead me, where I would take it.
|Hangin' With Natalie|
4x5"; acrylic, collage, ink, and wax pastel on manila stock