"Sages" by Jim Carpenter, Acrylic on Paper, 9" x 9"
Challenge Day 6: Trust In "Not Knowing"
It seems a bit ironic to title a painting "Sages" and then to blog about "not knowing." But, that is how I operate when I start a painting. I do "not know" what I will find at the end of the painting journey. And even when I start out with the idea that I'm going to paint a certain something, I often end up with something altogether different. Today I had planned - I should say "hoped" - to paint something joyful and full of color - and I ended up with a monochromatic image of two mysterious figures with a spiral behind them. I didn't know that was what I really wanted to say until I started to see it - then I knew what the painting was about. I use "not knowing" to get to "knowing."
Here are the images of my "Start" and my "All The World's A Stage" mid process painting.
Even as I tried to accept it as "finished" I knew the painting with the 3 figures wasn't right. I felt the pull to obliterate it and find the real painting as well as the pull in the opposite direction - to resist the risk of obliteration and to preserve what was there. Ever been caught in that tension?
I felt I had to go for something more authentic. I sprayed a paper towel with rubbing alcohol and scrubbed.
The search for wisdom is a constant. Perhaps the figures I identify as "Sages" are a metaphor - a representation of an old notion knocking around in my head that there are "keepers of the knowledge" - that there are "those who know" - and the path to them is tricky, risky, and full of false starts.