Waiting for Spring…in need of renewal!

Sleep was elusive the night before last. I tossed and turned. Flipped from one side to the other. I couldn’t rest. I mentally replayed my previous studio day over and over. I was certain I had ruined a new painting that I was so excited about…

Could I bring this sweet little painting back from the abyss?  My only hope was to stop the torture of a sleepless night and go back into my studio. I did. Early yesterday morning. Very early yesterday morning I climbed the stairs to my dedicated workspace. The house silent except for the familiar clicking of the radiators and coffee brewing…

The work to rescue this piece was met with an immediacy I couldn’t quell. Deliberate blobs of paint dotted the gray palette paper, Strategic creativity. A selection of determination.  I was intent on correcting what I had done. Controlling the universe was the task at hand…

After several hours of focused effort, I did resurrect it. Yet it had lost something. Something special. A freshness. My early selections were in themselves just the right hits of color. Bad decisions can sometimes replace the good in art. An imperfect science. Paintings can become overworked. Different. Not necessarily bad ultimately but not what they could have been. I have experienced this several times in my many years of painting. I wondered why I had not learned this lesson from the past. Why was I unable to let go of what I thought this painting should be…

Frantically checking my phone for the previous images. The early “progressions.”  I became obsessed. Why didn’t I stop there? Why hadn’t I recognized that this piece was just as it should have been. I didn’t. I couldn’t. The quest for perfection. An unrealistic pressure I forever put on myself and my work. Why was it so hard for me to accept the imperfect beauty that already was exhibited in this painting?

Was it a desire to control something in my life when so much around me feels so helplessly out of control. Stress has become a permanent fixture in the sacred place I call my studio. Recently worry has influenced my work as much as any color choice. A personal health scare has taken up a fair amount of brain real estate. When one diagnostic test says yay and the other nay where do you place your bet? Quite serious health conditions have impacted the lives of too many people I love since just before the holidays. Two fellow artists that I greatly admired and felt grateful for our many wonderful conversations have perished. The wants of the universe weigh heavily right now. The depths of winter have settled hard. I am anxiously awaiting Spring…

                                                             “let us live like flowers

                                                              wild and beautiful

                                                              and drenched in sun”

                                                              –Ellen Everet

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

2 thoughts

  1. I feel for you because I lost two beloved friends this year too!
    I hope and pray that your health scare has positive results! You are in my prayers and heart, Liz!💕

Leave a Reply