When I paint I first set an intention. Truly it’s always the same intention, the intention I have for my life, and that is to surrender. I think it doesn’t change because I'm a serial 'backslider', bouncing back and forth between being a manic control junkie and being prostrate, face-down-on-the-ground in submission.
Thankfully my art continues to teach me lessons in surrender. This little pastel painting came through me on Day #3 of the 100 day project (HDP). I finished it, liked it, and 'control junkie me' thought, though I know better, I’m going to seal it, to preserve it. How did I attempt to do this? By pouring Matt medium all over it and leaving it to dry. Well of course the colours darkened and became a bit muddy as they dried and I gave myself a swift kick in the you know what and reluctantly moved on, with my control-freak self wondering if I should cut the page, (i.e. my disappointment) out of my journal. Thankfully I opted not to.
A few days later as I was flipping to a new page in my tiny journal to begin a new HDP painting I paused to look at my destroyed masterpiece and found myself kinda liking it again. I picked up my pastels and with a swoosh here and a scribble there I was back in love.
It’s different now, but in some ways more interesting, the old layers peak through reminding me they’re still there and the new layers of pastel that catch the ridges of texture left by the matt medium add interest and new life. All my judgments and self-flagellation, all the yelling at myself inside my head about ruining the painting are over. The new version is deeper, richer, different, but good. And good is typically what shows up when we surrender.