May 7, 2007

Finding My Voice - Part II

When I was a teen I remember getting out my dads oil paint set and trying my hand at painting a picture of our barn. I painted it on an inexpensive paper that was supposed to feel like canvas. I think the paper was meant more for pencil or charcoal drawings. My parents fraimed it and have it hanging up in their house to this day.

When I was 18 I went out and bought some pre-stretched canvases and did a couple of paintings. They were only partly representational. I enjoyed it. I also started writing song lyrics.

My point is, my paintings were o.k., and my song lyrics were quite bad, but they were the beginning. I still really like all of my paintings. There were no rules for me to follow, I would just pick a brush that seemed to be calling to me and then find a color that seemed right and do something. One time I just started swirling the paint in a circle (clockwise of course), until I had a mix of orange, red and burnt umber. The circle became the sun hanging low over a mud brick pueblo in the desert. Sorry to say that I gave that one to a girl friend with whom I eventually called it quits. Never got to see the painting again.

Typically now if I paint, I cover the whole canvas in a wash of a single color. I just loose myself in a swirl of red, blue, or green (let's here it for primary colors). I let that dry completely, then build the rest of the painting on top of that color base. I use fat course brush strokes, and a palate knife with big chunks of paint.

What's cool about it is that what is on my mind comes out as a theme in the painting that is difficult for me to articulate. The painting appears and I realise that there is something I'm saying. Something from deep within. I don't paint much at all any more, but when I do it's always revelatory.

My lyric writing skills improved when I got married, and also once I got together with a childhood friend of mine and we started trying to write music together.

Any kind of self expression is worth doing. There isn't really any definition of "good" or "bad" art when it comes to something you make for yourself. Just start doing something you enjoy. If you want to share your art with the public beyond family and friends, be ready for critique and some rejection. Take note also, that for every song I recorded with Sojourn, I wrote about 10 songs. That doesn't include the other songs that I started and tossed. That's o.k. It's o.k. to make bad poetry or crummy paintings, it's the only way to find your way to something meaningful inside.

You could also write a blog. Blog about anything you want! They're free. If you are an Aspie, parent/care giver of an Aspie and you start your own blog, once you have about 10 posts, let me know and I'll post a link to it in my blog. You have to tell me something about yourself, and not just send me a link.


No comments:

Post a Comment