For Real

I've been in a rather reflective mood these days, not unusual for this person known as Me. As a representational painter, the expectation is that the work is  based in reality, or, representative of something. I find that true for the most part. What I find interesting in conversation with people is how easily most define reality. "Why, what's in front of you of course!" I wonder.

At the risk of going off the deep end, I offer this: Can you let go of that definition, just a little bit? Even better, expand the scope?

I am often asked what I'm thinking when I paint. (whoa.. are you sure you want to know?) I find that a bit offense. I start off like most representational painters, I look at my subject matter. I start out thinking, 'yeah, girl standing still'. What happens next? The scope gets wider. I kick a few doors down in some places, gently wait for an invitation to enter,  in others.

I have found, lately, that I am more in touch with the reality I cannot see with my eyes. I could not point it out to you if I tried, but I know it's there. I believe, this 'imaginative place' (for lack of better term) is where the TRUE reality lives. It is energetic, it is calm. It can move us forward or keep us still.  It is inherent to this physical plane in front of us. It offers a place to rest, a place of comfort in this crazy mixed up world. I go there a lot. This is where my faith lives. It takes an enormous amount of trust to even step onto that path. So far, so good.

Putting a brush in my hand gives me options. I get to decide which path to follow, which stroke I need in order to make the physical more familiar. These aren't things I learned in school, these are things I embraced by living. Some of these moments were wonderous, others, not so much. It's amazing to me the storehouse of stuff I can reach for at any given moment. I've decided to be present in this reality. To try my best to trust the journey, potholes and all.

The end result of each painting is never revealed to me in advance, and certainly not in a single glance.

Why would I ever expect the same in life?