So I started the painting over. Well, actually, I took a nap. Then I started over.
I had planned to wait until tomorrow, but really, what choice did I have? I would say I’m stubborn, but it’s nothing so commendable. (Although as my family will testify, not entirely to my credit, the word “stubborn” is probably not strong enough, and if my totem animal weren’t so self-evidentally the noble wombat, an excellent case could be made for the mule.) But this isn’t simple stubborness, this is simply lack of options. The painting has to get made. It’s the sort of creative equivalent of changing a flat tire. How I feel about the process is immaterial, but we’re not goin’ anywhere until it gets done. (It’s not a commission or anything. It just has to get done.)
This is the plain truth about art, at least for me. You don’t get an annuciation, choirs of angels descending from on high, singing “Blessed art thou among artists!” and proceed in a kind of immaculate haze.* You just paint the stuff because shit, what else can you do? The art has to get done. You make art because it’s just what people do in this situation. Having a muse is like having a gall bladder, and just as romantic. (And to extend the metaphor in my usual style, you probably don’t want to know the details of what either muse or gall bladder is doing, since it involves all kinds of bile.)
At times like this, when I am doggedly recreating work, I find that the band Firewater is really growing on me. I have very specific musical tastes, and they mostly come down to “You must have really GOOD lyrics.” I realize this is bad of me and denies the entire range of musicianship, but I’m comfortable with that. I don’t understand music on any kind of intellectual level, I have no musical skills whatsoever, and unlike half the artists out there, who seem to require specific music while painting and can’t function otherwise, I can throw on NPR and work just as well. (Actually, this isn’t true. NPR is fine. Music I dislike, which is a lot of it, makes me loony.)
James, who does understand music, despairs somewhat of this. It is difficult to find new bands for a woman whose tastes include Steeleye Span and Tool, but almost no points in between. However, he finally came home, in triumph, bearing a Firewater CD, and said “Okay, they have great lyrics!” and after several weeks of deep suspicion, I must agree. So that’s my music recommendation for the year.
And now, more repainting.
*Okay, sometimes you do. Very rarely. It’s great when it happens, but you can’t rely on it.