Sunday, June 9, 2013

Post Creative Let Down

Gateway by J. Binford-Bell

Creating a painting, I realized today when I at last finished my latest, is exhausting. And exhilarating. You want to shout, "I did that?" when a plan comes together and a painting achieves a marriage with the image you have carried around in your head. And then there is this huge let down not unlike drug withdrawal. Specifically withdrawal from speed.

Photography does not do this. It is so immediate in comparison and is not the manifestation of an internalized image but an image you internalize. Nor does painting in a formula manner. Yes, you may sit down to do your 14th church painting for a fair or a retail order and something surprising happens.

But to conceive of an idea for a painting. Refine it in your head over a number of days or weeks. Then finally commit the idea to paper and pencil, and at last to canvas. Only to go over the colors again and again in your mind before putting paint to canvas. That is a horse of a very different color. And not every painting an artist does is that sort of creative birth. But is is those paintings an artist wants to create.

Since I gave up painting for three to four art fairs a year and decided to stay home in my studio and paint for exhibitions and myself I find I am painting less but enjoying more of those wonderful creative births. But they do leave you rather drained and wondering if you can do it again.

I want to do six more paintings within the next two months. I want to do them for exhibits I wish to enter and to establish a base of more recent works. I did not paint for a while after leaving the fair circuit. It seemed there were enough paintings on the walls of my studio and I really didn't feel I had any more new ideas to generate. And I focused my energies on photography. But the muse is back. She was back in 2012. I am proud of the paintings I have done. I looked around the studio this morning and counted the works I would feel honored to have in a solo gallery show and was pleased. But an artist with her own studio needs enough depth to not empty the walls or pull work from other places or go back too far into the archives. Six more would be a good buffer. Which may be why Georgia O'Keeffe had 1000 paintings in her studio at the time of her death.

Gateway in the Binford-Bell Studio and Gallery

I am very happy to have this one completed today. Tomorrow I begin the sketch for the next one.


  1. Beautifully done, as always - and interesting contemplation too - I can understand what you're saying internally, though I've only been able to experience it briefly in my life.

  2. Wonderful, Jacqui. Such glorious colors!


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