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- I am a painter. Sometimes I paint abstractly. I have taught others in formal settings to paint abstractly. I have warned them of the struggles and challenges they will face when working and as they begin, despite these warnings, I have to help them navigate away from “trouble”. The hardest thing when making an abstract painting, for this collection of words lets call them “abstract expressionist paintings”, is to let your marks live on the surface.
The maker will throw down a gestural mark, you can see the joy of making it, the satisfaction that it is done, and then something happens. The trouble. The maker’s hand is drawn back to the very mark they just very proudly made and “fix them”. Eventually, and most often, fixing to the point of erasure, failure, and defeat. This is when they are usually humbled and any mention of “well I could have made that” quickly retracts back into their throat and they realize they cannot.
With coaching though, a student can understand the challenge, and work it out. It can be strangely painful, as I myself as a student experienced. My triumph only came after years and years of resistance. I would say 23 years of resistance before I made my first real mark. It was many years before I would have the guts to try again.
Then the next step comes after the maker is able to let a mark rest. Where do I make the next mark? This is where things get weird and again where instinct will fail.
I tell people that I am teaching to make rules. A set of parameters to follow. Often the first rule is to break the instinctual rule that pops into ones head and even begins to move ones hand. It takes recognizing what ones instinct is to then set the framework for how the game will be played…and won.
So first rule is that you must recognize that you are generally wrong in your instinct and have to take pause, evaluate that instinct, and then resolve it with a rule that comes from a place where there have been no parameters.
For me, and for what I consider my most successful works, is this: after my initial mark on a blank canvas I need to approach the canvas as my instinct dictates and then take pause. I have to stop myself from actually making the mark, remind myself that my instincts are flawed, and then do the exact opposite. The opposite, in relation to an abstract work, is to put the mark on the mirroring side. Left is right and up is down.
This works in composing paintings for me. My experience in sharing this process with others, sometimes to the point where I must hawk over a student and remind them when their instincts takeover to be aware. This awareness is hard learned and in seconds after acknowledging a desired change in behavior, instinct comes back twice as strong and if I wasn’t there, the battle likely would be lost.
So as I approach trying to save the shiternet with a new community called “fingg!”, everyday I ask myself how to challenge my instincts and relearn, retune, and make my approach better.
I can paint. I welcome you to checkout my paintings on mr.fingg.com However, I have never fixed the internet. It is still broken. I use the knowledge of my flawed thinking to inform my approach. Everyday each post becomes a new parameter that I am hit with and struggle to navigate.
That being said. There is no-one at the helm of this internet ship. I implore you to take pause and think about your instincts.
Please share with me your experience and any tools that work for you, as I very much do want to build a better internet community and I need help.
PS. I didn’t edit this bc Charles Bukowski would have thrown a wine bottle at me I believe if I as his pupil and he saw me making edits.
See you tmrw.