The last few days have reminded me of when I first started making art. Everything was an experiment, everything was new, and I didn't know anything about anything.
Like then, I'm having fun playing with various techniques that are new to me. In fact, I think I'm making them up as I go along. These techniques involve deli paper, wax paper, tissue paper, vinyl shelf paper, brayers, rubbing with my hand (I have a blister on my pinky), old envelopes, canvas, foam core, whatever else I can find at hand. . .
or underfoot, because my basement is a horrible mess. I can't find any tools, because they are buried under piles of papers. All my scrapers and pallette knives are caked with gesso, paint, ink. No brushes have been injured in this quest, however. Larger pieces of printed tissue paper and canvas dry on the floor. You may someday see footprints in my art.
And, like way back when, I'm having varying degrees of success. Some of these paintings are just awful, others are just okay, and there are even a few that I like. But most importantly, I'm playing, learning, inspired again, and it just doesn't matter.
In between bursts of creativity, I'm reading Carlos Ruiz Zafron's The Angel's Game. I love the following passage:
. . . there are a lot of people with talent and passion, and many of them
never get anywhere. This is only the first step toward achieving anything in life. Natural talent is like an athlete's strength. You can be born with more or less ability, but nobody can become an athlete just because he or she was born tall, or strong, or fast. What makes the athlete, or the artist, is the work, the vocation, and the technique. The intelligence you were born with is just ammunition. To achieve something with it you need to transform your mind into a high-precision weapon. . . (E)very artist's life is a small war or a large one, beginning with oneself and one's limitations. To achieve anything you must first have the ambition and then talent, knowledge, and finally the opportunity.