I’d have to use a hundred adjectives to describe the feeling of facing a brand new blank canvas – without any idea of what I’m going to create – and about to start. The feeling begins sometimes months earlier, when the canvas is leaning against the wall awaiting its time. Then, when the day approaches, intensity rises.
In my art courses I talk about “molding and shaping” an image. This is only possible with advanced techniques. The image takes on a three-dimensional quality, as you work with the techniques in terms of depth, as well of course of working in terms of everything else: colour, line, texture, form, composition, tone.
This is true also of abstracts. If you’re out to create something engaging, to put it mildly, an abstract can rip your last creative urgency from the very edge of your ability. You are constantly dealing with balance. You purposely throw the painting out of balance, which hurls you to that edge. Having placed yourself in that most precarious of creative positions you are impelled then to reclaim balance – having advanced the painting. This then gives the work a quality it otherwise would not have received.
You are – creatively, spiritually, intellectually, physically and emotionally – flying.
One of the things I enjoyed about creating that image is that it can be turned to any cardinal direction, whereupon it takes on a whole new sensibility.