Stains- In life and painting

Stains. For about 2 to 3 years now I've been mainly focused on stain paintings. Thank you Helen Frankenthalor. There's just something about watery paint slowly seeping into canvas, left to meander where it will while drying and leaving behind a small piece of itself. It's magical. It blends action with the unknown.


Life creates it's stains on us. People. Humans. Each discovery, life event, loss, gain, creates a new layer that changes us. These things leave behind small pieces that build upon the person we already are.


Stains don't go away but they can be layered with something different. They can be covered and overshadowed by a new layer, yet all these layers underneath remain and make up the whole of the painting or the life and that is beautiful and ugly and magical.


Right now I'm trying to get through some terrible layers in my life, one day at a time. After a car accident the end of 2021 I've been dealing with chronic terrible pain in my neck/jaw/teeth. Chronic pain is bad enough but the extent of what pain can do to your mental/emotional well-being I had no idea, until now. I am not OK; but I'm trying and I'm getting through each day. Some days that's literally the best I can do, is convince myself to make it through this one day. And so I do. This layer feels like it won't end, but new layers will inevitably come and maybe just maybe these layers can blend and transform and lead to something beautiful.


I've painted less this year due to being in pain but I know it's there and it helps me feel like I can keep going. I want to see how this layer dries. I want to see what the next layer becomes.


When painting, I feel the magic of creation flow through me and know that it's more about the act of creating then the creation itself; and that if I just keep allowing that flow I will eventually find beauty within the creation or within the act of letting it go. Sometimes I hate what I've created, just like I hate what happens in life at times, and that's Ok. I can keep creating and showing up each day knowing that something is being made and transformed and that in itself is magical.


Literal stains in real life hold my gaze. Spilling my coffee on the living room rug. Seeing the outline of leaves on the concrete after the rain. Noticing the toothpaste drips down the front of my night shirt. They're messy and random yet fixed and distinct. A firm mark of where they were yet ghostly and vague.


Stains leave a part of themselves. They're there but not fully. They leave an effect of the original stimulus. This will be the focus of my paintings for now. That may change and it may not. The mystery of the stain and layers over the stains creates a painting process that helps me not only enjoy being creative but helps me deal with the difficult layers of my life in a more positive way.


It forces me to be patient, which is very very frustrating and difficult at times for me. Ok, most of the time. I want to see results. I want to see the next move. I want to see the end, the answer the finished painting. Yet, I can't and it's so much better this way. Planning the next layer the next move after things have dried and I've come back to it, allows me to see things in a new way and make a decision I may not have even noticed before.



All the best in your paintings and life. From my heart to yours.


Lauren






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