art, artist, c.s.ellington, hope, loss, painter, wellness

What is Undone becomes Beautiful Once Again


Painting is a series of risks, much like life. I see in my evolution of painting, that where once I was concerned about overpainting I am not currently thinking of it. I continue to paint as long as the canvas is speaking to me. There are paintings I held back on, for fear something undesirable would happen to them. Today, I keep painting. Anything that is done can be undone. What can’t always be created is the reproduction of something lost.

In a painting, in the process, there are layers quite desirable that may be sacrificed for the whole of the painting. There are layers that are wonderful, parts of paintings unique and captivating. But if the whole isn’t working, the painting goes forward. Much like life.

Painting is a risk. There will be parts I cover that will be lost in the underpainting, parts only I am able to see. Perhaps I photographed stages and you fell in love with a step in the process. I’m listening to the painting and what it wants to be. Much like life. What does it want to be?

Sometimes the water on my paintings takes 15 hours to dry. My studio is in my bedroom and I wake up to a painting with the feeling of Christmas. Where the water shifted is new and where the glitter fell.

There is a layer of wet paint on the current painting. I will likely let this dry overnight. It will become very durable. I paint with some creative energy and I paint with some destruction. I put together and I take apart. Sometimes I have to see something to know if it’s for real. Sometimes I want to be able to paint over secure paint to see what happens next, with the assurance I can wash it off and be right back where I started.

There are many things I have learned about life through painting. I have learned to listen to the inner guide that tells me where to put the paint and how to move it. I have learned to accept imperfection. All the random seeming strokes and variation have helped teach me the beauty of asymmetry and imperfection. I have learned about forgiveness, paint that is secure is super forgiving for trying new things over it. And I have learned about risk. I have learned about trying new things. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.

With risk, I don’t know what is up ahead. A painting can get ruined (but that doesn’t really happen) .. or an awesome part can be lost to something else. What I know from the time I have invested in painting is that partway through a painting, it may seem to have turned to a place of discord, to a place of loss, to a place of not so very cool. But then it rebounds, beautifully, much like life. What is undone becomes beautiful once again.

Here’s to life, and knowing that in times of less there is more up ahead. Not that more is the goal.. but as in the life of a painting there are sometimes predictable and unpredictable turns along the way, sometimes those turns are necessary to become all we are meant to be. Much like in a painting!

Hope you’re having a great day. If not, I believe one is right around the corner for you!



2 thoughts on “What is Undone becomes Beautiful Once Again

  1. Being a wordsmith, I recognize a moment where there is little to add and that compliments will come off as ‘me too’ or sound like a polite platitude. But I shall ramble anyway…
    I met a person at Montrose Arts Market who is not only passionate about her art, but her life. The parallels expressed here were pretty obvious to me. And of course I can draw parallels of my own, in my prints, in my life, and in my considerations for trying other mediums.
    I think what a piece like this does is strike very deep into our visceral selves that just want permission ‘to be.’

    Posted by Bartz A Johnson Jr. | June 16, 2013, 6:41 pm
  2. Beautiful…like you!

    Posted by Rosalyn Wilson | June 16, 2013, 7:51 pm

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