Friday, August 20, 2021

Another difficult subject

Bukowski wrote a poem I like that's entitled 'so you want to be a writer' (lower case intended) and it begins like this:

so you want to be a writer

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don’t do it....

I need to tell you this: what I am thinking about is grasses, and how to paint them. 

I can draw them just fine:

but painting them is another matter, because of their delicacy and the kind of painting I do. 
This is my first attempt 
Acrylic on canvas 35.5 x 25.5 cms

and I am fond of it, despite the fact that the canvas had been used before and lines from the painting underneath show through. For some reason, that's fine with me, because I'm thinking that grasses you see out there in the wild grow any which way, stuffed beside other plants, growing out of walls and between cracks in the pavement, so if there are imperfections in the background of my painting it feels OK. No-one else might like it but in this particular case I don't care.  And you're looking at a perfectionist here.
I am such a perfectionist that I am frequently dissatisfied when I have finished a painting which other people say they really like. Dave is shocked by how critical I am of my paintings and said the other day that in future, as soon as I have finished a painting he is going to make it a ward of court to protect it, so I can't paint over it. 
I talked to a professional artist about this and she said she often felt dissatisfied and that that is why painting is addictive: you will try again and next time you will get it right.
My painter brother Pete, asks me why I have to choose such difficult subjects every time, and the reason is this - I want to paint something that has struck me by its beauty: that's the reason I choose it. And right now I am entranced by the beauty of wild grasses.
It's possible that ferns might be next.


Anonymous said...

Your grasses painting is wonderful. The effect of the layering over another work is part of the charm for me. I agree with Dave! Save Sue’s paintings !! And ferns? Can’t wait!,

Sue Hepworth said...

Oh Ana, you always say the nicest things!