Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dandelion Sponges, Brush Strokes, and Runny Eggs

If I painted with a white dandelion puff, I'd get a smattering of dots, a constellation of stars––sponged constellations on the page.

But I don't want to always sponge. Sometimes I want a paintbrush to make big, long, passionate brushstrokes. Sometimes life is a constellation of moments, but other times it's a passionate sweep.

I dreamt about this idea a few weeks ago. It has been a sampling semester for me in college. Although I came to Denison fully anticipating to dive right into theatre, I've found myself wading in, afraid of what I might miss above the surface if I'm underwater. There are so many things to do all the time, and I'm surrounded by so many different styles of living and hobbies and paths of life. Considering that all of my classes have touched somewhat upon the question, "What is the self?" my brain is spinning with existential questions like, "What is life?" and "Who am I?" I've dabbled in a lot of different areas this semester, between talking with a variety of people, trying out different clubs (I'm trying fencing this week!), and going to unique campus events, like a lecture on policing. I'm used to fully committing myself to a few areas that I'm passionate about, so not doing that has made me feel somewhat scattered. This, in conjunction with the dandelion puff I found at a park off campus a few weeks ago, is what I think led to my dandelion puff dream.

I returned to the park this morning. The river and the swings and the trees make it a nice getaway from campus. As I was running over the bridge, I noticed that the trees looked like painted dandelion puffs with their colored leaves. I so badly wanted to stand on the bridge, gather all my breath, and make a wish on the trees, seeing their leaves scatter in the wind.

I also expressed the desire in my dream, though, to paint with a paintbrush. I don't want to always sponge constellations. I want to paint cirrus clouds. I want to dive in.

These are cirrus uncinus clouds, taken from Wikimedia Commons, a public domain.
Somehow egg yolks also leaked into my dream. The only explanation I can think of is that sometimes I want to crack the "egg" and see where the yolk (paint) runs. (Although, I'm not usually one to just crack an egg.) 

The thing is, whether I sponge constellations, take bold brushstrokes, or let the paint run, it's all still a work of art. More importantly, it's the contrast of all these that makes for an interesting composition.

My first semester of college has not been what I expected so far. I'm starting to be more bold with my painting, but it's a process. I think I've repeated that phrase–"It's a process"–every day to myself since I've been here. There are some parts I wish I could paint over, but there are other parts that shimmer. When I step back and I look at the whole picture, I like what I see. 

No comments: