The other day, I was in my studio, painting away. Sometimes when I paint, I just dabble my brush in the paint and apply a few brustrokes every few minutes, as I stop to pause often to consider the direction that I will take the painting in. Although, to be fair, there are many times that my painting takes me somewhere else instead. Today was one of those days that my painting took me somewhere. Instead of where I thought I was taking it.
This is the best time for painting…because I become so absorbed in the act of applying paint to brush and brush to canvas that I forget to breathe. Literally. I only realize that I have not breathed in a regular fashion when I finally step back from the painting and inhale a long, deep breathe, and exhale long and deeply. It’s as though my body, mind and whole being become so engaged and focused on the brushwork at hand that one breath could render my hand slightly off the line I’m creating.
It might sound strange, but I am glad when I get to the place that I forget to breathe while painting. It is a signal to me that sometimes in the act of artistic creation, the act of exhaling the work I’m rendering is more crucial than inhaling the oxygen my body needs.
Now back to breathing.