Today in the studio away from the studio, my 4 legged friend once more showed me I was fussing and he had no clue what I wanted him to do.  Too many mixed messages led to frustration on his part.  He let me know by kicking up his heels a few times.  Got it.

Time to be still and listen.

“We do very little,” my horsemaster told me, “but strong meaning.”

I’ve been thinking about this.  A lot.

Back in the painting studio I’m seeing places on paintings where I’ve fussed rather than get still.  There might be a variety of color and interesting shapes yet there is no meaning.  The work is not in balance.

“…just get something down…”

This has been a common suggestion from many art teachers and one I’ve used myself to begin a painting.  It gives a sense of freedom and a release from caring about the outcome; a way to take the pressure off of making a masterpiece.  Now I’m not so sure now if this is a good approach.  It also feels like a waste of materials!

I’ve observed a variety of masters at their game.  This is what I see:

They begin with a deep breath.

They have a plan.

Their movements are subtle and few.

Every action has strong meaning.

They are one with the other.

They smile.

And they like to keep things simple.  No long winded explanation, theories, nor gymnastics.

It’s a feel developed through practice and trust.

orange and black small encaustic painting

Perhaps this 12″ x 12″ painting is headed in the new direction.

It started off as an all yellow painting and I thought I was done.  Wasn’t feeling a vibration though.  Time to smile and breathe.  Relax.  Do less.  Another action.  No fuss.

Can I be even lighter and bring it into balance?

I love applying words and concepts from other disciplines to painting.  Try it.

Imagine your studio was a bakery.  How would you approach your work then?

Hope you find the joy of quiet too.