Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Painting #1


So it's Tuesday, January 5th.

I'm a wee bit lagging on the New Year's Resolutions thing....Between family gatherings and a headache and a surprise visit from a friend from out of town, I only sat down TODAY to scribble my intentions for the upcoming year.

One of my intentions is to paint more.

More, as in, more than once, like last year. Yes. HIGHLY disappointing considering it was on THE LIST of things I'd do more during 2009.

See, two years ago, I started seeing paintings in my mind as I'd fall asleep. Sometimes they were swirly patterns, sometimes faces, sometimes trees blowing in the wind. They were messy and colorful and strangely,deeply satisfying.

I have never really painted before - that is, since I was six and obsessed with painting Smurf Toadstool houses on big roll-out paper in Madame Piche's class. But everyone paints when they're six. However, last year, I wanted to start painting, badly. I pictured finding a little sliver of time 2 or 3 days a week to, you know, draw a picture, spread some paint around and...voila! The goal would be imperfection over perfection. Messes over meticulousness. Bravery over brilliance. I priced out canvases (yikes!), bought a tiny book, stocked up on acrylics, and prepared to let go....

This happened, as I mentioned, ONCE.

And why? Because this is what I do: I am constantly setting my jumps way too high, making big plans that inevitably set me up for frustration and failure.

Take recently for example: On January 30th, I started a blog called "A Year of Art". I intended to make a piece of art (a photo, sketch or painting) every day of the week and post it on that blog.

As soon as January kicked in, even just the THOUGHT of keeping it up made me want to take a nap. "There I go again." I thought. "Setting goals so high they're impossible to reach."

I suppose there's a pay-off to this. You get to slump your shoulders and give up. You get to blame something else--lack of time, the kids, too many wretched school newsletters to sign. This ensures that at the end of the day, you don't have to put yourself out there. Putting yourself out there, even to yourself, is FREAKY.

But the catch is that nothing gets done. And so long as you're relatively okay with that, it's fine. But I'm getting tired of it. Wasn't it Anais Nin who said: "And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."?

I'm not saying I'm going to blossom here. Please. I couldn't handle the pressure. But I am ready to open a little, to say that I want to paint, and to try, and to take the risk of making imperfect things.

And this is what I am slowly, oh, so slowly figuring out: that setting small goals is the only way anything gets done - around here anyway. Also at Mother Theresa's house, apparantly, because it was her that is known for having said: "We can do no great things; only small things with great love." And I have pinned this quote up on my bulletin board so I can stare at it every day.

So this blog is my small little offering to the art that seems to want to bloom inside of me.

I will not post something daily, I will probably not even make something daily.

But I will paint on Sundays. And I will post whatever I make here. And I may, if I feel so inclined, share my thoughts on creativity and other such things. Or not.

I look forward to meeting you along the way.

With love,

Kim McMechan

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