Zoned Out

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Zone.”

I am not sure when it happened,  but somewhere along the line I developed a fear of colour.  I wore a lot of black and although I often sketched, I would use only lead pencils,  charcoals and ink pens, never colours.

I  had been cast in a play and during one of my rehearsals I casually mentioned to my scene partner that I was interested in painting.  It was one of those times when words came out of my mouth,  without pre thought.  They came from somewhere out in the cosmos and I had no attachment to them.  At our very next rehearsal,  before leaving she asked me to wait a few moments as she had brought me something and was off to her car to retrieve it.  By the time she was done unloading her car, I had everything anyone would need to try their hand at painting.  (pardon the pun)

She had not used her paints in three years and had recently decided she would not go back to them.  I was stunned. OMG.

My awe quickly turned to excitement and I was determined not to have these great supplies sit idle.  Carol had included several canvases in her gift to me, but I went out and purchased a really large one;  it was 5 feet by 4 feet.

The day had arrived.  It was late afternoon, and there was a momentum to the day as I knew that somewhere in the next 12 hours I would break into the paints that had not been used for 3 years.  I had no easel so I hammered a small nail into the wall and hung my gigantic canvas. Sweat formed on my brow,  I had no idea how or where to begin, neither had I a clue what it was about to paint.  The canvas was beautiful as it was,  clean white and virginal… not a spot on it. Anxiety started to mount.

I had an idea… I could go to my sketch book and select an image from it to transfer in full colour onto the canvas.  Oh my, there were so many,  how would I decide on one…?  The solution,  to begin with number one.

My hand reached for a tube of paint.. it was a thrilling moment,  pink and white tangoed with the tip of my sable brush.. creamy, smooth vibrant oil colour. The first stroke grazed the textured white wall.  Stroke after stroke,  wide eyed I stared as colour took form and shape, shadows appeared and faces lurched out from behind spaces.  Oils and  brush led the way and I followed.  I lost all track of time. Never had I been so focused.  I rubbed my eyes,  was I imagining this ?  Little dots of sparkle,   tiny light beams were dancing on the canvas and it occurred to me that it was all alive around me. This was an experience that had altered my understanding of how the creative process unfolds.

The canvas was complete…it was 5 o’clock in the morning.  I had gotten out of my way and some force propelled the use of my hands and now before me was my first painting,  I had broken through a wall and embraced colour for all it ‘s worth.  It all happened in the ZONE.

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May 24, 2015 · 4:35 am

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