Colourful abstracts and a struggle for artistry

For years I wanted to do a painting which involved a lot of colour. Patches of colour, patterns in colour. One day I’d started a painting with a red background, pondering something of a sunset, perhaps a silhouette. Fidgeting with my palette and brush, I ended up just doodling with blocks of colour and over the next few hours I got more and more engrossed in it. Making the colours overlap, adding in shading, becoming really quite focused on it.
This is what it had become once I’d finally pulled myself away from the canvas.
Deciding that that was a little too bland (despite the colour), that it lacked something, I started thinking ‘lines’, or ovals, or circles.. Unfortunately I don’t have the messy in-between photos when I kept having to cover up the little things I decided I didn’t like, but this was the end result. My first colour filled painting.
Not long after it was given to a good friend who’d fallen in love with it. It had been sat in the corner of my living room for so long that I’d got used to the vibrancy that it brought. It brightened the place up without me even really paying any attention to it. I wanted to embark on a second go, bring that colour back to the place.. This time with some idea of what I was doing.
I wanted the blocks neater, the shading less patchy, more refined overall.
There’s a problem with that, though… I can only paint when I’m in a really loopy, obsessive, mood. These appear for hours at a time, sometimes days. And often by the time I’ve realised that I could focus the excess energy and actually do an art, it’s gone again.
I had a few days in 2010 where I noticed almost immediately, and back to it I went.
Yes, I tend to sit around in very floppy clothing at home, looking like a bit of a tit.
After a day I couldn’t grip the brush because of pain in my hands. Holding cutlery for a meal can be immensely difficult, with the joints stiffening and becoming painful to move very quickly under the strain of positioning. Even though I was working on it intermittently, in 5 minute intervals between very large tea breaks, it wasn’t quite enough.
Then that obsessive ‘I must do something, must paint, must keep busy’ sense of manic ‘I can do ALL THE THINGS’ euphoria wore off. I was mere hours from finishing it when I finally went back to try again. I found I couldn’t focus on mixing the colours I wanted, or shading neatly. The ability to paint drained from me as quickly as it had appeared a few days before. It was eventually tucked away behind a shelf and left, neglected, for over a year.
A few months ago after a conversation with a friend about art, lamenting projects laying around unfinished, and being nudged to paint again, inspiration struck. The large piece of MDF (poor choice of medium, I know) was tugged out from behind a shelf by my husband and the brushes were out.. Busily working away at it, ideas changing a bit as I went.
Finally, I finished it! Now adorning a wall in my bedroom, perfectly complimenting the deep red walls, the bohemian furniture and carpeting (blankets as carpet, various colours/styles of cheap argos furniture), I’m quite satisfied. The bright colours in front of me each morning help as a little pick me up for each day.

While I state in this post that this project is finished, I’ve since seen many flaws in it which I want to correct. The size of the project, and the detail I’ve gone into already, I’m not sure I’ll ever be satisfied with with it. It’s a permanent project, and likely always will be.

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