Of the painting.
The phase where all of the marks just look like a scrambled egg on the canvas, the kind you think any 6 year old could make.
And it’s probably true.
It’s the phase full of potential, power, possibility.
It’s the phase in the middle, when after “trying” so hard to “make” something happen that the inner voice just says, “Fuck it” and you throw down paint and get back to the truth of who you are as an artist and step back into PLAY.
It’s fun. It’s messy. It has no goal.
It is unbridled energy that infuses the painting with mystery.
The mystery of something greater. That intangible “something” we long to paint, describe in words, but best to just feel it and be it.
The chaos phase is also the phase where the critic can come out and say, “See, I told you so! You’re not a REAL artist.” She knows your tender spots and goes in for the kill, while standing on the side having a cigarette looking cool.
If you let her intimidate you, if you believe her, this is the phase where you give up on the painting. You let her win.
I have re-framed this phase for myself when she shows up. I tell her, “Yeah, yeah. THIS mess, you’re calling it, is a new beginning. It’s a new possibility infused with so much energy it’s bound to be “better” than what I started out to make.”
She tends to skulk away when I stand my ground. And now, she barely shows up anymore because she knows I’m not giving up.
My layer is dry now, so back to playing with more color to see where it will take me!