“The trouble with poetry…is that it encourages the writing of more poetry”
There is a really lovely poem about it by Billy Collins, you should go read it right now:
Then you should read more Billy Collins, because he is great!
I could actually extol his work for quite some time, but I think I’d get distracted, and the problem with painting is different altogether.
The problem with painting is that it’s never enough. It doesn’t seem to capture even a fraction of the astounding beauty that is possible.
I’ve been working on illustrating the Bible, and still continue to be flustered by it. I lamented long and dramatically to my journal about how much more beautiful the stories were than anything I could hope to put down on paper. Then I did some angst filled drawings trying to demonstrate just how incompetent I felt. I proclaimed: I feel as though I am standing on the threshold of all the beauty in the world, and only have a thimble to collect a drop of it, to bring back to everyone else. Then I kind of liked my woeful illustration, so I turned it into a painting.
Here’s a close up on the poor overwhelmed person
Somehow, being able to communicate my own feelings of inadequacy somewhat effectively encouraged me to go on. I’ve been working on the stories of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus recently. Here’s one of the images:
This piece is reasonably similar to the murals I did for Hope Chapel for the Good Friday and Easter services. It’s an image I keep wanting to work with, a woman in dark robes, which are being turned to light and freedom. I blame John for his incessant light vs dark metaphors. I also blame the movie Argo for making me so sad for the people of Iran. I wanted to paint a prayer of hope for them, and this was part of the result.