Friday, October 7, 2011

you can do what you want

22 x 22, acrylic on Fabriano
Today I have been layering and mixing and experimenting with acrylic paint to see what can happen. I added the black lines with Sumi ink and then knocked some of them back with more paint. I enjoyed the freedom of play and only at the last did I massage it a little to strengthen the composition.

While I was painting today, I was humming this old Cat Stevens tune, "If You Want to Sing Out." I realize that he is now Yusuf Islam, but when I first heard his music and bought the album (to play on my record player, thank you very much), he was known as Cat Stevens.

I admit that I had many bad experiences with English classes. But, in my first great experience in English class, the teacher printed out the words to "If You Want to Sing Out" and "Moonshadow" and used the lyrics to teach us to appreciate poetry. We had only to turn on the radio to hear the songs, and many of us knew the words by heart. She bridged the gap and made poetry (lyrics) cool and meaningful and contemporary. No dusty urns. No lovers counting the ways. No electric bodies. Just lyrics. And more lyrics. And more lyrics. And, when we understood and developed a hunger to understand the ideas behind truncated expressions, she knew we were hooked. Well, some of us were hooked. I know I was. Still am hooked. I don't even mind the urns, lovers, or electric bodies!

So, today, if you have a voice in your mind (or nearby) that is telling you that "you can't" or "you won't" or "you'll never" ... listen to Cat Stevens. And if you want to sing out, SING OUT! And if you want to be free, BE FREE. You can do what you want. Really.



SamArtDog said...

What a nice and loose painting! Paper is so cool. If we had to make our own, it would make everything as precious as a tree. Oh... how much more precious can you get? What a GREAT painting!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Thanks, Sam. I am enjoying your "sistah" paintings!

Debra Jones said...

Stunning!! I love this painting. It's Kandinsky meets Miro. I knew the paints in those tubes were magical!!