Phase II, 20x20x1.5, oils and gold leaf on canvas
Behind the piece:
I’m always surprised at how much can be done with discarded paintings (You can see the process photos above). The concept of redemption has a way of coming through in the creative process, and this piece is no exception. I began this painting before COVID-19 and continued it into this pandemic, so it's ended up mirroring some of what I think we’ve been feeling.
Like most things during this time, my plans for this piece didn’t come out like I had in my head. But, despite lost time... and a process of letting go, waiting, and reworking... I’m so glad. Because without those failed plans—without having to stop my current course and put my vision aside for a time—I never would’ve had the space to do something new.
In creating this I was reminded: things like failed plans (or the disconnect, imbalance, or sense of lack they can leave us with; like the original painting did for me when I looked at it) don’t need to be an end point. They often require a time of waiting—curing—and releasing control. Because adding different materials to uncured oils doesn't work.
So I had to sit with the mess-up; weeks and weeks without being able to do any fixing. But in that waiting came the idea that opened up Phase 2. It led to far more work than my original plan—a process of planning, measuring, and exploration I wouldn’t have otherwise done—but it ended with something way more precious than when I first started.
May that be the story for many of us when we come out of this time.
The things that seem to be disconnecting reality may actually be piecing it together. The things that seem like barriers may actually be windows. And the things that seem like mess-ups may just lead to gold.