(mixed media semi-abstract couple portrait)
“Love is like war: Easy to begin but hard to end.”
H. L. Mencken
“Memories of love” is one of my most rapidly executed paintings. I was twenty at the time I painted it. I was madly in love and as impatient as most twenty-year-olds are. At the time, I was also experimenting a lot with ‘found objects’ as was the term for random crap you find and turn into art back then. Thankfully, I had no shortage of found objects since I worked in a tiny restaurant located at a large plaza where half a dozen of stores constantly discarded all kinds of stuff by the dumpster out back.
One day, as I was throwing out some trash I found a 30″X40″ piece of cardboard leaning against my beloved dumpster. It was covered in all kinds of paint, but mostly gold. There were also cuts from a knife or a blade all over the surface. The cardboard was already symbolic and poetic even without any additional imagery on it. Quite obviously, there was no question in my mind whether or not it had to be rescued.
So I brought my treasure home and decided to work on it right away. I didn’t even know what exactly I was working on. I drew with a large brush an unidentifiable shape and looked at it. It remind me of two figures – a man and a woman. I ran with it adding more and more big bold brush strokes until I felt the painting was done. It only took me a few hours… which is not my habitual way to paint.
Usually I take my sweet time as I’m working. Art is my meditation. I enjoy it. I don’t rush it. I also love short brush strokes, and I love little brushes. I love little details. If a painting I’m working on is purely for my enjoyment and I don’t have a deadline sometimes it takes me months to complete it…. I just like the process of creating art. To me working on a painting is like reading a good book: you don’t want to read it too fast because you don’t want your enjoyment to end.
The more I think of it, the more I understand that my approaches to my two greatest passions in life (reading and painting) always run parallel to each other and change as I get older. When I was younger and really enjoyed something I had to finish it (whether it was reading or painting) as soon as humanly possible. I couldn’t go to sleep unless I knew how a book ended and I didn’t think twice about staying up all night to complete a painting.
Since then I acquired an appreciation for being able to pace myself. I’ve realized with age that knowing how something ends is not as enjoyable as taking your time to discover its contents. Valuing anticipation is one of the major perks of getting older. Patience is not just a virtue; it’s a path to happiness.