*Lyrics from All I Do Is Dream of You from Singin’ in the Rain. Easily my favorite musical, and my go-to for an enjoyable bit of movie watching (especially when recuperating from several minor ailments). Plus, the lyrics can easily go non-romantic when you think about painting. Which I constantly do.
A few weeks ago, I was absolutely out of my mind, bonkers, needing to paint something. Anything. I was like Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain running around yelling, ‘Gotta paint!’ Seriously, it was becoming a problem. So I pulled out a small canvas I’d gotten on sale ages ago at Michael’s, and just went for it. We had limited time – had to get the house ready for a showing, and had to prepare to head back to the pied-à-terre – so I just barreled through. Crashed through my burning desire to build something, to witness that change, and to have something (besides muffins, brownies, or cookies) to show for it.
Rough draft. I think that’s what I’ll call it. Because, really, that’s what it felt like. Every time I start a painting, I think to myself, ‘this time I’ll get better… this time I’ll get it right.’ This time, I’ll crack that code, and go from pure exercise to pure expression. Well, I didn’t. I’m learning that that’s not exactly how art works. (Nor does dance – just ask Gene Kelly.)
But it’s all about the process, right? For now, that’s where I am. Not yet a master, barely a beginner, yet eager to learn more, I must take my steps as they come, one at a time. I really, really enjoy the feeling of the brush smooshing through the paint, and blurbing along the canvas. I really enjoy the ting-ting-ting sound of the brush banging against the glass jar half full of water as I rinse my brush to dip it into another luscious color. (I suppose I should have spelled it colour, because that’s how elegant I feel when I’m playing with my paints.) I enjoy the dribble, dribble, and the zig-zag, and the herky-jerky, and all the sweeping and swiping. I don’t really worry too much about the finished product yet, because the process is so satisfying. (And, because, hey, I’ve got good taste, right? Sure I do. Just like everybody.)
Anywho, I’m going to keep at it. Painting, that is. Working out my unresolved, early stage leanings. Working through the beginner phases of technique, to move toward the later phases of editing. Moving beyond the colors I usually favor, and into ones that push my eye, and my mind to think differently. And I’m going to keep uncovering and understanding my process. I like it, even if my paintings don’t look like hers or hers. (Or hers.)
I’m no great artiste – yet. But, maybe someday I’ll get that agent to open up the door after I dance my little jig, dressed in a silly plaid blazer, with googly glasses, and a goofy grin. Maybe I’ll be in the company of Cyd Charisse yet. Maybe I’ll find a room full of painting peeps who feel like me. Gotta paint, gotta paint, gotta paint!