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Friday, August 18, 2006

Studio Spirits ...continued

As a child I would lay upon the grass looking, searching for another world within the clouds. There are such beautiful places to visit and exciting adventures to be had in ones imagination.

It was much later that night when I re-entered the studio, immediately it felt different, more solid, warmer, cosy even. Feeling for the light switch in the darkness and finally illuminating my office area, something caught my eye on the easel. Instantly I saw them and, scared of losing them in a blink of the eye, it was quite some time before I allowed myself to sit and study the vision before me in comfort.

The canvas had faces in it.
The oxide paint I had earlier applied had produced shadowed effects among the white gesso and created a number of ghostly portraits. From one view I could see a large, friendly rounded face that filled the canvas and from another there were two faces visible to me; a side portrait of a moustached man looking down, hair tousled onto his face, with another to the right of him looking directly at me, less friendly in appearance but not evil, curious and non-fleshy, almost skeletorial. My first instinctive thought was that my very first brushstrokes in my new studio had acted like a huge bell, announcing that I was ready to accept guests. In my absence, my guests had arrived, each bearing a gift that would aid my artistic journey; patience, energy, emotion...flooding every inch of the walls with their life, creating the "living soul" of the studio. Old masters perhaps looking for somewhere to be inspiring?
I attempted to shrug it off and continued writing up my journal but my thoughts returned to the canvas time again, the faces seemed so familiar and yet I did not recognise a single one.

I'm unsure whether to leave the canvas now and treat it as part of the studios' 'living soul', a portrait of all who dwell here? It's becoming almost sacred to me for some unknown and unexplained reason and I feel driven to respect it/them. Of course, other times I flick my head around and see nothing more than white gesso and red iron oxide splotches...I'm not mad you know!.... but something strong, deep within is telling me to respect it, appreciate it and just because I don't understand it fully doesn't mean I should ignore it.

Perhaps it's a lesson my sub-conscious mind is trying to teach my anal side; the side that craves detail and perfection, just maybe I am trying to tell my conscious side to loosen up a little, let go and appreciate simple form and values?....It's still a great reason to respect it and keep it.
However, it's most probable that, like those clouds when I was a child, my mind is creating an adventure, setting a scene from which I will explore and travel and conquer.

Frankly, I can't think of a better reason to keep it and hang it upon my wall.

They say intelligence and madness live comfortably side by side. I believe that great intelligence involves opening ones mind, all of it, to the unexplained and unexplored and madness is only titled by those whose minds will never be accepting enough to understand.

"The man who has no imagination has no wings." - Muhammad Ali

Studio Spirits


Mary said...

Anita, this is beautiful work and your thoughts so very interesting. I see the faces in my work, too!

Anita said...

Mary thankyou, for your wonderful comments!