It's vexing. Vexing! I've never spent this long on a painting, It's keeping me up at night - I paint and unpaint and cut and paste and delete for hours in my sleeplessness.
I keep picking up threads on various paths and deciding following said paths would only lead to teeth gnashing and regret.
So... it's probably just that close to done, and I'm making it complicated.
I'm thinking that once I address a piece of it I've been avoiding for whatever reason (it's a face. I'm afraid of ruining the face, ok?) what needs to be done - or left very much alone - next will make itself known. IT IS AWARE OF THE BEEPING. Sadly, phoning myself is fruitless.
And now... memories.
Remember this work in progress?:
Well, I sat down to "finish" it one day, and, wow. Did I finish it. I finished it real good. I finished it so well I traumatized myself out of finishing the one I'm working on.
I was well aware that I wasn't feeling it. I wasn't riding the current of the painting. I wasn't even touching the current. I was sitting in a leaky boat, captained by my left brain.
I wasn’t even riding the current of qi. It was so clearly not the right timing that other things appeared to try to give me a clue that I should not be painting at that moment. We crashed amongst the rocky crags of a phone call – life’s last ditch effort to get me to wait - and it was all lame brushstrokes and poor decisions from there.
So I kept making marks and adding colors and generally just making a mess. And then I decided to see just how much of a mess I could make. Run, ugly, RUN!
And I ran with the ugly. I RAN and I RAN, until, finally, clammy and red-faced, eyes crossed because my dining room "studio" is lit by a gauche chandelier that throws awkward shadows everywhere, I ended up with the kind of interesting you put finger quotes around in conversation. I don't have clear memory of what it looked like at that point, but my body is giggling. I remember thinking it made more sense as two pieces. So, then, I cut it in half.
I left it alone for a while. I showed both halves to other people as an example of When Paintings Attack.
"Mistakes were made," I said.
But when I came back to it, it was definitely its own entity, with its own personality - not some rejected stump of an arm, cut off from its origin and ravaged by gangrene.
In fact, I liked it! And, In fact, the other half has grown on me, too, but I've already suffocated it under two layers of gesso. Poor thing.
Plus it tickled! It has a feeling I'm really enjoying... so, I'll likely frame it and put it up around here somewhere so I can look at it when I need to feel how it felt when my dad would sneak up behind me and poke me in the ribs.