Blank Canvas

Anne Gatchell, Art Process, Oil Painting, Painting

Sometimes a blank canvas is a beautiful thing. This is usually the case when it is being prepared for a painting that already exists in my mind, or for a feeling that I want to paint as I experience it. But, at other times, a blank canvas can seem like an insurmountable challenge.

I have some ideas for a painting I want to do, but none of them are fully formed. I want it to be beautiful and full of meaning. But, I have a deadline to meet with this piece, and so I need to get it going. I also have lots of code to write and a career fair to prepare for.

I often think that restrictions are great for the creative process. They wake up the engineer in me.
I feel like I am rising to a challenge and it helps my come up with creative solutions. But, when I am faced with a blank canvas that holds a million possibilities, sometimes is feels far more suffocating than the most restrictive palette or assignment. Especially when the only restriction posed is one of time.

So, I think I need to let time get incorporated into my creative process. Or, perhaps, learn to harness it to my advantage.

In my creative process, I like to grab an idea, and then let it stew in my subconscious mind a little bit. Then, I feel it slowly forming underneath the surface. I let it simmer until it is solid enough to grab onto and think about until the next roadblock appears. I am still figuring out how to apply this process to this particular piece. I suppose I have narrowed the subject matter down significantly from infinity, but that merely opens up another infinity of possibilities for how to portray and arrange this subject matter.

I guess that is why art is so beautiful. It will never, ever become dull.

At least I am proud of my nice stretch job on my heavy duty bars: