Sunday, September 29, 2013

Taking A Break From Doing and Entering Into Being

"From  A Distance" by Jim Carpenter, Acrylic on Paper, 11" x 7 1/2"

Painting #22 Day #29 In the 30 in 30 Challenge

I have been so busy preparing for the opening reception for my show coming up on Friday Oct. 4, that I have not been able to paint for two days.  I've been busy with the framer, with my inventory list, pricing, post cards. Well, you know how it just goes on and on.  

I will admit to worrying that my colleagues in the Challenge and the friends following me would think that I was shirking my commitment, but I felt like I had no choice. The show must go on.

I won't go into details about the utter craziness of the last 48 hours of "doing" in prep for the show. Let it suffice to say that at about noon today all of the concern was put to rest and I was able to have a nice lunch and relax.  At about 4 o'clock I went into the studio with the plan to mount some of my paintings on canvas, but I had 2 starts waiting for me to tackle for the challenge and I thought, "Why not!  You need to paint. It is still light out!  And, it will make you feel better." Painting is more about "being" than about doing anyway.

"From A Distance" is the result of deciding to paint - of deciding "to be" in the creative process -  before getting down to "doing" the business of gluing paper to canvas. That I finished it in record time - I didn't even get through my Flamenco Guitar cd more than once - and that I was able to sign and photograph it before sunset... well it's all shocking to me.  The broad outline of the large figure, the curve around him, and outlines of several other figures were there in "the scrubbed-out start" which I had abandoned many months ago.  It was all blue.  And I had no idea when I started working on it where it was going to go.  

I can't help but be mystified by this painting. How did it happen so fast?   Was it because I was too tired to think or to worry about restrictions?

When I look at this painting I keep hearing Bette Midler singing "From A Distance" in the background.  I don't know quite what to make of that.  After all, I was listening to Flamenco music when I painted it.  


  1. I couldn't paint much at all in the second half of September because my 3-year-old is not going to school due to holidays or the typhoon... I'm not even sure I can finish one on the 30th!

    We all have other commitments, and I think we should be proud of what we can achieve.


  2. Agreed. You did a lot regarding your art biz in Sept along with doing the challenge. I certainly have learned a lot from this. I will continue. How about you? Well, I doubt that I'll blog every day... even talk show hosts take the weekend off! :-)

  3. Jim I love the touch of teal (green) in this. I love how the light surrounds them, and they all seem, or some seem to be looking up. Thanks for sharing how this came together for you. What a nice surprise for you! You had me at flamenco!!! And then you added Bette! OK, I know what I am listening to tomorrow. Might be in my head and not on the player... hehehe Congrats, and Best wishes in the show!

    1. I do listen to flamenco when I paint. It's safer than listening to "songs" because I end up humming or singing along. One time I was in a workshop with 26 other people. When I finally took my earplugs out to go to lunch my colleagues teasingly applauded - I had no idea I was making any noise at all. So now I listen to flamenco... only danger is that I'll start dancing.
      Thank you do much Shelia for taking an interest in my work. I've really enjoyed your comments and hope that even though the challenge is over you will still visit my blog and comment on it. I'd comment on yours if I knew where it was. Do you have a link you can share?

  4. Hi Jim, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed both this painting, but also your writing which accompanies it...of course, you had me nabbed by mentioning 'the utter craziness of the 48 hours' before a show - ah, yessss! But I was also struck by your mention of how painting is more about 'being' than 'doing' - so true, so true. Great work! Loved also the mention of what music you listen to - I'm always fascinated by what other artist's listen to when they paint. Bunny xx

    1. Right now as I'm writing Elvis is singing Silver Bells. I've heard nothing but Christmas music since the day after Thanksgiving.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. It's always good to know when we are in sync with fellow artists! Right?
      What do you listen to when you paint, Bunny?

    2. 'Half Lazy, Half Crazy' by Oka has summed me up musically this year past Jim ....they really reach right down into me and make me swoon while I paint <3
      Synchronicity, for me as a painter, always acts as some form of validation ... that the path I am on is indeed the path for me ....