What isn’t seen

Pink World Drawing Andrew Conti


Drawing or Painting, Painting or Drawing.

Sometimes it’s better not to think too much. I think as a painter, or a drawer, or a creator, one can get a little bit too preoccupied with ideas. You hold onto a vision in your head as a perfected ideal that you must strive for at all times. You put all your mind and energy into pursuing it and striving to obtain it. Obsession, you see.

But what is always remarkable is how much things can move forward, how far your ideas can progress when you aren’t looking at them. As though the whole universe of your mind is a watched pot waiting to boil. Look away, walk away, just be away, and the substances congeal, the vapors travel the alembic to something new and refined.

It can be very difficult to let go of the ideas we treasure, they are after all our ideas and worthy of our daily obsessive thinking. But staying with them so much, constantly poking and prodding at them in the act of making work or thinking about work can be suffocating. Forcing the very things we want to grow to stifle.

What continues to be most remarkable to me about painting and drawing, what continues to mesmerize me above all else, is how so many things in a work seem to take shape at the periphery of the mind. Somehow, in glances away, and in silences of a focused mind, the completion of an image, or simply the next step is revealed.

What to paint, and why. This is the ever consuming question of the work. But the ideas, once found, always seem to be alive themselves. The verbal mind struggles to stay with them as they wind like vines along their paths to the light of day.

The painter need not think too much. She need only let go for a time and let things find their way. They always seem to, and like some crazed kind of manic boss, they always seem to find the painter when they need them.

This for me is enough.