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Between intuition and analytical analysis

Freestyle Painting is just as it sounds, aspires to freedom.

For me, one of the most significant criteria for evaluating a painting (of mine) is how free I really was while creating it. Free from expectations, free from criticism, free from comparisons. How much I flowed with the work. How much I was "in the Zone".

But to be honest, painting is a process. Most often it does not start and end in one painting session. Most often it is built up gradually. In several sessions. In several layers.

For me the most exciting, easy and flowing stage, is the beginning. It can last a few hours but it is one session, in which I do not stop. I paint without consciousness. I only see what I'm doing. This is a sheer delight.

The moment I stop, I exit the "Zone" and return to consciousness. At this stage, the sight (from before) turns into observation, and I begin to analyze what is in front of me.

It is very difficult at this stage to avoid some kind of judgment. Loving / not loving, what do I like? What don't I...? What's missing? What is too much? A kind of editing, if you will.

The composer Igor Stravinsky said that composition (the relationships between the different parts of the work) is selective improvisation. And indeed, if we relied solely on intuition, only on the improvisation stage, we would usually get a work that is structurally weaker...

It's a stage I don't get to in my workshops. It's a stage that, in my understanding, needs to be reached at more advanced stages of creation.

First you have to develop the free flow, some people take years to get there... Only after we have truly managed to let go, it is worthwhile to consciously activate the analytical skills for reviewing the work. Is the composition strong? Can it be strengthened? How?

But for a real and honest creation you need to be in the zone, meaning not in a state of full awareness, so how do you do that?

The solution for me is a kind of zigzag between these stages. Since at first there is only a blank canvas, there is no problem at all to just be in the zone, and so for me that is the easiest and most enjoyable stage.

Later one has to overcome criticism, and even more - one has to overcome attachments, which greatly hinders the flow. Sometimes to the point of paralysis...

Well, no one said it is easy.

But when we succeed in doing it... Wow! It is, at least, as exciting as the beginning :)


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