Lately, I have been joking around with my students that since my palette is gradually getting lighter and lighter, I’ll eventually end up painting just a plain white canvas.
Upon sharing this, we all laugh because the thought of doing this seems ridiculous. Recently though, I’ve come to realize that the notion is not as crazy as it seems.
I have spent the past 11 years covering up the white canvas. I have done everything I can possibly imagine to get rid of the white surface before me:
I have painted, scraped, and texturized it. I have left it outside under the rain and snow. I have added spices to it, sand, salt, and sawdust. I have traced my body on it, traced other’s people’s body on it, done yoga on it, and I’ve even made love on one or two of my canvasses. If you can think of it, I’ve probably done it.
Another way of saying this, is that I have spent a lot of time trying to accomplish 3 things:
After all of these years, I finally I feel like I have arrived. I know I am capable of painting a beautiful painting. I also know I capable of selling my work, having it printed in books and magazines, having it showcased on television, and I can teach other people how to do it.
Keep in mind where I am coming from: when I began to paint, I didn’t give myself permission to paint on a canvas at all. Canvasses were for artists, and I was sure I was not an artist. Imagine the obstacles I had to overcome to arrive at this point.
What fascinates me about this process, is that today I don’t feel like I need to cover up the canvas at all. I have nothing to prove. I’ve proved it. I’ve done it. I am not afraid.
Today, the blank canvas represents my personal triumph over fear. The very thing that I used to fear so much, is now the very thing I love the most. The white canvas is beautiful to me.
For many artists, the blank canvas is full of possibility and potential. It’s a story waiting to unfold. And for many years, I felt the same. Today, the blank canvas it is perfect in and of itself.
This blog was created to share my belief that the art-making process is a catalyst for transformation and personal empowerment. I am living proof.