Has it happened to you that you hear a strange new word, a brand new phrase, an idea and then suddenly you find it everywhere around you? Where did it come from, and where were you that you were never acquainted with it before? A very similar experience, something completely unexpected happened to me this week.
I read an interview with a Hungarian poet, Ottó Tolnai in the weekly paper, the Magyar Narancs. As he was describing his poetic style he said “Among my first gestures I threw away, pushed aside the romantic or classic attributes, the holy things. I felt that these bothered me, bound me down. In the void that remained in their place I inserted the cauliflower.” I was speechless. I felt weightless, even giddy with pleasure. I felt I found my artistic soulmate, who completely understands my attitude, my idea in the collaborative painting I am working on. And that cauliflower…. Tired as I was, I felt a strange eruption of energy to continue with my painting.
Perhaps it was not the best idea to jump ahead to an almost finished state with the main feature while leaving the other elements quite bare in the rest of the painting. Now I see that I should have gone on with all parts slowly, progressing together. Bringing in the balance would have been much easier. Case in point, the window. I finished the walls in a very similar dark green tone to the one that is surrounding the shadow. As an idea it was good. However, once finished I realized that it killed the entire painting. As a black hole it sucked out all the light, all the life from the painting. The saint looked washed out, and I could not bring out the tone of the bricks in the window the way I wanted.
So I had to go back to the beginning and readjust it. Now I feel the walls have acquired that function which I was aiming for from the beginning: to help the elements of the painting, to bring them to life. The dead window now stands out, is a prominent element of the painting. The curtains flutter in the surreal wind that comes from nowhere.
So this is the stage where I am right now. I feel like I have worked a lot with it, and yet at the same time like there is so much more work ahead of me. I want to bring in some watercolor or acrylic washes even to enhance the colors in certain places in the picture. I also want to add in the sparkle for the halo that I mentioned. And there is a bit of a surprise that I don’t want to spoil for you just yet. The good thing is that there is plenty to think about and plenty to do. But while working I will feel special because I have found that artistic soulmate who understands and fully supports my cabbage. I just hope he will forgive me, because with all the talk of cauliflowers I am foreseeing it ending up on my plate this weekend.