“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say “It is yet more difficult than you thought.” This is the muse of form.
It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
― Wendell Berry
Fatigue and sore joints linger as I slowly reclaim my normal life ‘after dengue.’ Painting presents some new challenges; one is an unpredictable shake that suddenly takes control of my hand and then vanishes just as quickly. I ignore it and assume it will eventually grow bored and vanish. The fatigue affects my ability to stick with the painting, and after an hour’s session, I usually stop and rest for another hour. The birds provide excellent distraction for those commercial breaks.
Painting this watercolor has been work. It has also provided a necessary discipline for me to show up for work even if I feel like playing hooky. I stare at the painting and nudge myself to move forward. Losing electricity hasn’t helped, but I moved my work area to a window and cut fresh flowers for reference.
We were without power all day Saturday and most of Sunday. Building a bit more physical strength, I squeezed in several painting sessions and then slept for ten hours. While painting on Sunday night, we lost power again; that’s one way to stop progress on a painting! On Monday morning, I could not find the painting. I eventually found it propped on a shelf, where I had critiqued it the night before by candle light. Continue reading