“Is it supposed to be a sky?”
“Is that a flower?”
“What’re you going to paint?”
Nothing comes to mind when you paint. The way you paint is abstract - intangible. It is one of the reasons why you paint. You never want to define what it is supposed to be. You want it to represent something. You want the colors to speak for itself. Do not deprive yourself the opportunity to wander. There are no rules or boundaries when it comes to painting or any form of art. Rather, you have the ability to go into the unknown until you are infinite.
Let your imagination marinate you in a pool of ingenuity. A vision of color, texture, and effervescence only you can create. Search for something that is never meant to be found. Build up the desire to voyage through your thoughts. Be someone you wish to be and let that character take form. You, who remains still, roam rapidly within your thoughts, go on an adventure. Give this façade a life of its own and see what happens on paper. It is your chance to be creative - go wild.
What is holding you back?
Prepping is always fun. You set up your little world. An easel, or just a sketchbook, some pencils, pens, and paintbrushes, your jar of water, and your array of assorted colors; from red wine to honeydew green to luscious royal blue - it is mouth-watering for the eyes. Nothing can hold you back. With these tools, you will be able to create a world beyond belief. It will become your own safe haven. The pages of your little world will be filled with indescribable adventure.
Handling the paintbrush with no true delicacy, you look at your blank canvas. This is your opportunity to create something different, something unimaginable, something original. You let your hand slide over the paper, feeling its rough texture. You want to figure out your capabilities. Map out your thoughts. There are to be no secrets held back. This is your opportunity to express with no judgment, no complications. You dip your paintbrush into a cup of water. The clanking of wood and glass puts you in a state of tranquility. Your options are various. The color palette, laid out like an organized rainbow, new and glossy, all clash one another. Your eyes hurt from staring at the many options.
What to choose?
Painting, especially with a medium as fluid as ink, can never turn out the way you plan it to. You have no control over water, there will always be some sort of fault in each stroke, but that is the beauty in watercolor. Let the paper soak in all the water from your paintbrush. Let the color bleed out, allowing the water seep in and stretch across the paper like veins. Let the mind wander. Do not think, just do what you feel is right at that very moment. Spontaneity is key. Engross yourself in your intuitive thoughts. Pick a color, let the paintbrush take in its vibrant nature, and watch the color explode like a ticking bomb. Watch the layers of water and color mix, following the path that the water has left in its place. Let the color crawl its way around the rough paper. Then gaze at its sudden death, slowly sinking into the paper like its laying in its grave. Losing its identity, you gather more colors and layer another hue.
As the colors gather, mix, and entwine, your mind goes into the far depths of your subconscious. You have only had a sliver of what is inside. To open up not through words but through color is probably the only way you know how. To strengthen the connection, to expose your fears, your doubts, and your flaws, it is rather difficult. You have only come to share these sorts of qualms on paper; still it is difficult to read. The feelings and meaning behind each secret that blooms out of your paintbrush are real and true. No one can translate these strokes, theses colors, these uncommon patterns.
Your eyes could not focus what you are seeing. Briskly dipping your paintbrush into the color palettes, blindly mixing colors that do not go together, you douse the bristles onto the paper and let it bleed all over again. Let it splatter. Let gravity do its work too. Unrestrained, uncontrolled, the contrasting tints are hysterically untamed. Like venom, you watch the colors seep into a concussion. Confused and lost, you grab more colors with your wet paintbrush and smear what looked like hazy splotches. You want your painting to come alive. You have the influence to compose the painting to alter incessantly. Sprawled like roots, deepening and expanding its persona, the colors combined become gradients of each other; there are no rough strokes. Everything is lucidly fluid.
Ink. Ink. Ink. You need more ink. Desperately needing a broader color range, you blend and combine blues with violets, oranges to greens, reds to blacks. A deep shade you have created. It is strong and penetrating, enough for the paper to soak in and really understand what you want it to do. Your thoughts are incomplete and it frustrates you. This clutter of colors is your gateway to your internal thoughts, but you cannot grasp something elusive. Each stroke is like a written word from a foreign language. You attempt to translate the caresses from your paintbrush. You want to know more, have your mind expand beyond the far depths of your muddled brain. You feel like you have so much to give, but at the same time, you cannot seem to share your thoughts to the world. Thus, you feel lost, preserving in your ingenuity, or perhaps you are just slightly neurotic. Maybe it is more complex, trying to understand and produce something abstract and intangible.
Nevertheless, you continue, you strive.
The clanking of your paintbrush against the glass jar of mucky water keeps you in check. It amazes you how much beauty there is to color, but when you finish you look at the work and time you have generated in your glass jar of mucky water and see that the water almost always ends up grey. The magic was coming to an end, the journey was nearly over, and you could feel yourself be pulled back into reality. No more wandering, no more feeling lost and exposed - the withdrawal was palpable. Still very wet and moving, your eyes glaze over like honey on bread letting your imagination stretch itself into a delicate, obscure sea of lost wonder.
Waiting is always hard. Sometimes, you wish the paper never dried, it takes away the magic, the fluidity. Like a never-ending stream, you want the painting to be constantly changing. Once the paper dries, it is like a photograph in its last moment. The magic is gone and you debate whether you want to paint another one or not. It makes you want to wish you had added more intensity, more definition. What if you had added this rather than that? You begin to question your decisions and doubt yourself and your skills. You try to retrace your steps, but the trail was gone.
Like aspiring authors who want to remain immortal in literature, you envy those who can create everlasting art. Always affecting, steadily stirring, undeterminably undefined; etched into the inner walls of your cluttered cranium. Maybe it is just how you want to see your work - always fleeting. That is why you hesitate to display your artwork - even from your loved ones. People have tried to see what you originally envisioned, but it never lasts. When words come bubbling out from your lips no one seems to understand what you are conveying. You end up being over-critical with yourself. If you are not happy with what you have made then admiration from others go unnoticed. You do not take any of their floral compliments, or take in their dazzled amazement - it is all short-lived.
What are you trying to paint?
That is when reality caves you in. You are no artist. You are just a commoner. A nobody in this world, and yet in this painting, you are someone and only you know that. And that is what is so sad about a painting. People will always want to define it, label it, interpret it - when really, nothing goes into thought when you produce something you once considered beautiful. No one will know what you were trying to convey because you never wanted to describe it. The magic you felt being lost with bursts of silent, emotional perplexity is only a memory now. No one will ever understand the enchantment you felt when you held that paintbrush, the power and mystery in each dip, each stroke, each color.
And that is alright.
You live to be misunderstood and different. There will be struggles and there will be judgment, but all you really need is conviction. You are, in all of your messes and flaws, original. No one can emulate your creativity. No matter how lost you are in a painting, deep inside you understand it even if it is unspoken and unparallel. This goes along with everything else that you aim to do. Get lost in your subliminal travels. It is the journey that matters, not the destination. Continue to kindle the magic in whatever way possible. The world will run you down and reality will find chances to tear you apart.
Nevertheless, you continue, you strive.
Note: Final draft of an assignment I turned in a few days ago. Might rewrite it all over again or tweak it when I feel like reading over it. Not sure if I’m completely happy, but what more could I do with a word count limit and lack of time?