Creating a small space in time

foot painting…no not all the paint landed on my feet, just some.

It has been on my mind for weeks now; this painting of desert sand, mirages and far horizons.

On a pristine white canvas I conjure the sky.  A sensuous process of dipping and sliding paint over paint, the brush glides effortlessly, blending and smoothing in quiet rhythm; layer after layer, veiling and building, until paint becomes sky, deep and untouchably soft. The desert is a scattering of paint, again and again, tiny points fall onto the canvas in all the shades of sand.

Hour after hour in no-mind, the painting builds and builds, then suddenly… disintegrates. And I am engulfed by detail. I see each brush stroke, I start judging each spot of paint, condemning one but not another.

It is at this point when experienced artists know, it is time to step away, time to create a small space in time. Time to allow the painting to become whole again.  Michelangelo abhorred those who over-polished, he rightly understood that you can work a thing to death.

Now my painting of far horizons is shrouded in sheets, silently pulling itself toward itself , while I think of life and our relationships. Not just with others, but with the stuff we surround ourselves with.

It is the same.

We get so involved, so close to a thing, that soon we see only the tiny details that we don’t like, and can no longer see the beautiful whole that they form part of.

When we start nitpicking, when we can no longer find the good in a thing, for the tiny flaws we obsess about, it is time to step away. Time to create a small space in time, where our relationships can become whole again.

Once we are able to see the whole again, we will not, no matter how hard we try, find those small flaws that irritated the beauty right out of the relationship, not long before.

Tha canvas ain’t white no more


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