I could see the painting in my mind. It is one that is evolving. It has become a painting about the process. I've been painting on this one every day for a week but I had to really think hard to remember what I had intended when I started, which it has not become.
Most of my work has an idea behind it, some concept, and since I use acrylic paints I usually get that down on canvas pretty quickly. I remember now that when I started this particular painting, I had considered that it was about time to do an actual diamond lane piece again with lane lines and the diamond in the middle-ish. I decided to use some light texture and washes to develop the look of the road. My normal way of painting had to slow way down because of drying times, and I was working on other paintings in the meanwhile.
However, the painting has developed into something completely different than my original idea. I don't quite know what it is yet. I'm just playing with new materials, a very limited palette, light and dark, trying new things, and letting the painting be about the process rather than the idea.
Yesterday, however, I could not be even that articulate. It seems to me that when I'm involved with painting like that I'm not in the realm of words. I'm dealing in an abstract visual language. I can communicate in it and I understand it but it is not about words.
As much as I have read from art coaches, and understand the need to be able to talk about one's art, the reality of a quote I recently read popped into mind as I couldn't come up with words to talk about my painting. Jean Cocteau said, "An artist cannot talk about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture."
When the painting is finished and I can stand back and look at it as an observer, I know it will speak to me in a different way and I will be able to talk about it in the realm of words. Then I'll know what it means to me and within the current body of work. Until then here is a picture of the studio that I took the other day. The painting I've been discussing is lying on the work table in the foreground looking mostly brown.