The Birth Of A Painting
I was able to stalk myself and that inner process called ‘inspiration,’ which I would rather call ‘birth.’ The Goddess has given birth to all the living beings on Earth, and it was her breathing out. I am currently working on a triptych named “The Goddess Exhales”. Who is this Goddess? It’s Me. I began modestly, meant to just note down how images, paintings, and everything that’s called art come to life. But on the way it turned out to be something bigger than I, or an artist, in terms of an artistic persona. It’s the Goddess breathing the whole world out of her womb. That is the way paintings are born. Through Exhale.
First off, I inhale. It takes a while. Quite a while. Or maybe, it only seems so. But the time stops, stands still like water in a bunged up sink.
This is the most painful period. You are empty. You can bear it for some time, watch yourself, and even enjoy this state. But then there comes this overstraining feeling. It’s like the beginning of the menses. You pity the entire world, and there’s no strength to save it. I lie down for an eternity and can’t move a finger. Minutes pass, but in my mind they stretch into years. I find myself overgrown with thickets of ivy and creepers. I feel like stock-still stone sculpture with soul still beating inside. And this soul is watching out of its stone frame, and there’s no strength to come out.
Stage 2: Next.
The stone cracks. Hope! You could see life through the cracks. It pulsates softly and cautiously, as if afraid to scare itself. And now life is gaining strength and momentum. It breaks free.
Space-wise, I walk around my studio, coming in, sometimes, to move something from place to place, look at my tubes of paint, wash something, or just sit in silence.
It can go on for days.
In my dreams and reality, I have thoughts and reveries of a full palette and canvas opening up in front of me with all its virgin allure. I am Shiva with his marvelous erected lingam. These dreams are similar to boys’ wet dreams during puberty. They are powerful and colorful. In the morning, I find myself at the object of my desire — at the white canvas in my studio. What am I doing here? Why wouldn’t I just take it on as one takes a woman? But something still stops me. Something matures in me.
I am not ready for it, for her, for my lady-painting, as of yet. Afraid of her, or him. I am an androgyne. I have both a womb and a phallus.
I can breathe in, and breathe out. Easier. Softer. I have almost no dreams. I hold my brushes, pet them. Squeeze the paints onto the palette. The thoughts pop up as to why needn’t I go somewhere right now, why my phone doesn’t ring, or something like that, which could, at least somehow, justify my inaction. My heart is beating. I am scared. I have to dive.
I recall a moment many years ago in Crimea, when during our Art Academy’s plain-air practice a company of my classmates would climb a rock in the sea to jump-dive in the water. I wanted to do the same. I had to swim up to the rock and climb on it, which I did. But when I reached the jumping spot, I got horrified by the height. I stood there for 10 minutes and couldn’t make myself jump. And then the idea came to my mind that I could climb down the rock the way I climbed up. But, alas! It proved to be impossible. There was no way back. I had to plunge. And I did. I “opened” the canvas with a first touch and started painting.
Stage 4: The Plunge.
Beautiful. Very good. Ecstasy. Orgasm. What are other words to describe it. You can add more yourself.
A bliss-out. An almost drug induced euphoria, and elation. I call it a co-orgasm with God. It’s when you don’t obstruct the flow of God’s Love that runs through you. It happens in its own good rhythm and time. Wish it were more often, of course))!!
This stage is gratifying, the feeling of coition with God, with his breathing.
There’s new world appears on the canvas. An interesting world, something new for me happened on the canvas. I was a vehicle of something new. New exhale and new inhale on the canvas.
There are moments, when there comes this feeling of ‘that’s it!!’ That’s it!!! I don’t know what to do next. I know nothing. I can do nothing. I am worthless. These are difficult moments. I have to do something, or else — leave the canvas alone, for a while. The choice depends on a particular canvas. This stage has to be overcome, and the sooner I pass through it the better. Otherwise it’ll suck me in like quagmire. Each artist has his own technique for getting out of it. Sometimes it helps to take a walk, to pamper yourself with something nice.
Stage 6: The Canvas Took Me All.
The canvas took me in completely. I am glued to it. I forget everything, including myself. It’s Happiness and Delight — it’s Act of Creation. I am the Energy Channel. This energy is the lead. I am an instrument. There’s no comparison to this feeling. The more it lasts, the more I get tired physically, yet the happier and more in harmony with myself I become. This energy takes over my whole being.
Flight. Euphoria No. 2))!!! The psychedelic euphoria. It seems it could only be compared to a magic psychedelic trip with a very pure psychedelic substance.
The canvas is almost ready, and this is most pleasing from the technical point of view. The major step has been accomplished. I’ve already jumped off the rock and surfaced, and am reaching the shore, full of ecstasy and new experience. Last touches.
Fatigue. But the good one. It’s so rewarding! The feeling that my life has a meaning. That I made this life better, more interesting. I am a vehicle, giving myself up to the wisdom of the Universe. Exhale.
Then there might come mixed feelings regarding my art’s worth from the point of view of today’s art world, and the brain often drones on something about my good-for-nothingness. But when you realize that it’s just your ego crawled out of its dark cave, you simply watch it, detached. The understanding of what these ego and brain really are helps shut them up and go on stretching the next canvas, climb up the next rock and plunge again into the luring unknown — Creation.