Above is my newly completed mixed-media piece. Based on a model who sat for our Independent Painters portrait session, it has been reworked from the original acrylic image I painted. Continuing to work on it in my studio during evenings last week, it slowly took shape and reinvented itself from the original painting of this man sitting on a couple of stools against as old gray wall, to its present form, with him seated near a window with an outside desolate setting of tall white barren trees. As I added assorted papers and imagery, the idea completed itself, creating a suitable backdrop for the man's vacant stare. The "constant" in creating art, if you're open to it, is that the work will find its own conclusion. That's the magic of it. It's really much like puzzle-solving. You are delving into possibilities, seeking a solution, which eventually resolves itself, somewhere within your sensibilities, in a miraculous land we can never exactly understand. Meanwhile your brain keeps searching unconsciously, even when you are not actively working on the piece.
I heard an interview with Peter O'Toole recently. Not only a fine actor, he is a writer woring on his third book. He talked about the process of creating in writing, where you put ideas on paper, hate what you wrote, toss it in the garbage, a repeated process while you pace the room. "It's a love-hate process" he said, loving the process necessary to create the work, and grappling with it heart-wrenchingly while actually creating it. I think painting is like that. But the state of being when you are absorbed in the midst of the creation of it has no parallel, with the exception of entering into a similar creative process, one that starts from nothing and insists on becoming "something".