Don't Over Think It
Last night at about 10pm I found a stack of not-so-lovingly set aside paintings, paintings that were nearly there but weren't quite right and never really saw their full potential and even some paintings that I hated with a burning intensity and shunned to the stack because they were overworked and terrible.
They deserve love too
I like to hang on to old terrible or nearly there paintings with the intent on revamping them one day. Some of these paintings have been patiently waiting in the stack for years and at 10pm last night I decided it was the perfect time to start the process of renewal for them.
Getting messy and not overthinking
So there I was armed with scrubbing sponges and gesso and ink and brushes and paints, having the time of my life getting stained hands and splashing the curtains with ink. I was not being precious at all with materials or the paintings because there was nothing to lose, nothing to mess up.
There were no pressures or worries and that is often the best case scenario for getting "in the zone" creatively. It felt so freeing to dive in and start breathing new life into those neglected paintings, indie music on blast. And the marks and struggles I put in all those months and years ago when I first painted the pieces were not for nothing. Ghost images peek through and add a depth and intensity that is hard to achieve in any other way.
I scrubbed, erased, covered, added, and substracted. But one thing I did not do - overthink things. I let the painting's new story unfold, layer by layer.
A lesson I'm often learning
A blank white page can be so intimidating and being able to skip that step altogether is sometimes just what I need to do to create beauty in the studio. Admittedly I have been feeling off my creative game lately and haven't wanted to paint at all. Every excuse was keeping me from my paints and so I took a rest, which was wonderful, but I can't rest forever. I guess I just needed spontaneity and freedom from messing up as a launching pad to get back in the swing of things because today I feel excited to get back in the studio and start where I left off last night.
As a classic overthinker, I need to trust myself and jump in when I don't feel quite ready more often which is a lesson I'm still learning. Is it the same for you too?
Let's not overthink things, shall we?