“My speech is imperfect. Not because I want to shine with words, but out of the impossibility of finding those words, I speak in images. With nothing else to express the words from the depths.” ―
“There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.”
― Anaïs Nin
I’ve spent the last several days working on a series of paintings using new mediums, techniques and colors. It’s been unseasonably warm and sunny the last week or so here in the Northwest. Not wanting to forgo painting, I’ve spent a great deal of time in front of the open window, trying to get the best of both worlds – the outdoors and indoors…
“This being human is a guest house,
Every morning a new arrival….
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”
Rumi – The Guest House
Rumi’s poem, The Guest House, is one of my favorites of his. For many years I would read it to my yoga students while they rested in Sivasana. This morning, after a cold, wet and windy brisk walk I settled inside of my warm studio to paint. Today my studio also became my Guest House. You see, I woke this morning with a lump in my throat; a lump of expression and emotion that as it always is with me, would only be sated by means of writing, painting or drawing. Otherwise that lump only grows until I metaphorically choke on it, unable to breathe.
When I first began painting the piece below I knew it would be a lesson; an experimental work. I’m trying some new techniques with watercolor and synthetic paper and had this idea that I would make a black and white watercolor look almost like one of my charcoals. The piece morphed at least a dozen times and in the end, looked nothing like what I intended it to be. This happens all the time, but today – today my emotions morphed right along with my painting. I had so many guests appear at the door of my mind, so many emotions, that I could scarcely keep up with all of them. I’d stop for a cup of tea or a glass of wine and sit on the stool in front of my easel and stare at her – the painting.
In the end I was grateful for each of my guests as they were able to appear within each stroke and I worked some stored up stress out from my insides. Also with my lump now gone from my throat I can breathe once more and although frustrating, I’ve decided to continue my self-study on watercolor techniques……and emotions.
“Sometimes by a woodland stream he watched the water rush over the pebbled bed, its tiny modulations of bounce and flow. A woman’s body was like that. If you watched it carefully enough you could see how it moved to the rhythm of the world, the deep rhythm, the music below the music, the truth below the truth. He believed in this hidden truth the way other men believed in God or love, believed that truth was in fact always hidden, that the apparent, the overt, was invariably a kind of lie.”
– Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence