Tuesday, 26 July 2011

losing Werner's space

Some months ago, having been writing about blocks to painting and drawing for some time, I made a comment about not even being able to begin on the problems/blocks I had with music. At that time I wasn't playing at all, having another try at stopping for a while to try to let the physical problems with my hand resolve themselves.

Now, playing within my limits, caring much less, music is always easy. Not only easy, but instantly, experientially, satisfying. Today I found myself thinking that painting can't ever be like this, because it isn't about the instance of experience in the same way; music is the moment, a being in the moment. When you put down your instrument there's no painting, no trace. Whereas with painting, however much you try to just go with the process, just be in the experience of putting on colour or making line, there's always some part of you feeling your way towards 'a painting', a product; a coming together of line and colour in away that's meaningful to you in that final object.

But I suspect I'm deeply wrong here. I don't know why it's easier for me to drop into the experience of music in a second, to feel the music connect itself up all the way through my body as easily as taking a breath. Whatever was stopping this from happening all those years of trying and striving and being self-conscious with music seems likely to be working in some similar way in relation to painting.

I think I did start out this period of painting, this last couple of years, like that. That was how I was able to start again after the long freeze - by allowing myself to simply be captivated by the flooding of deep yellow through water into blue. Basic elements of colour and material, no thought, no intention. So what's different now? Why is it no longer satisfying just to play with colour? Or, is it that I don't do it enough, and as a result all those intentions and ideas about paintings start to populate my mind and body, moving into a space that, if I'm doing it,  just quietly empties out until all such ideas have silently drained away....

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