What Did the Thaw Reveal?

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This was an Eco-Art exercise using icecubes with paint.


I wasn’t sure how to do it, or what to do with it, so just experimented with making different marks and patterns. These mostly got lost the more paint I put on it, as did the colours, which turns more “muddy”, and yet the patterns and colours weren’t completely extinguished by the process.

I tried to do it almost straight away and it did paint, but not so thickly. Then, as they started getting more thawed, the blocks of ice would get “puddles” stuck to their bottoms, which I could then use to make bigger splodges on the paper. I suppose I could have spent more time,  but I ran out of paper. I think I may need to do this several times again just to get the “hang of it”. Well, I’ve already done it twice.

The slow release of the paint mixture does require some patience, and a real willingness to let the process happen as opposed to forcing it. My frame of mind was “getting it over and done with”, for a number of reasons (priorities and use of time, etc.), so I perhaps didn’t make use of it as much as I could have. At the same time, the learning of this technique is also “slow” and may require many times to get the best out of it. I feel I’m now equipped with a new way of creating art, as a practice and in life in general, and that this has a lot more potential to thaw and release interesting, new things.

So I look at them and ask myself what did the thaw reveal in these pictures? I feel one has more dynamism and more internal structure, revealing more details. The other is more undifferentiated and “muddy”, a bit like what happens after the snow thaws. They are done, more or less, the same, with the same mix of colours, and the same process, but different results, but essentially they are “the same”.

The next time there is a frost or snow I’ll look at the mud left behind to see what details are left behind, it may look undifferentiated, but it may also reveal interesting details within that.

There are many things within me waiting to “thaw”, so natural potentials await their appropriate time, but also many “unnatural” things that haven’t been given the chance to grow and blossom. I just love this image.

I can relate to the feeling of being frozen and having my true potential locked up within me. I can also relate to the fact of thawing. Accessing this potential isn’t something we can provoke, we just need to give it the opportunity to thaw, and natural processes will take over.

There are many processes in nature that “lock” energy and matter into certain forms and then “release” them (such as photosynthesis and leaf shedding or digestion and defecation or sweating).

But this is all part of the flow of things; everything goes through this process in one way or another. This is a process I will take more care to observe in as many different ways as possible, and I think it’s important to observe how I “lock” and “release” energy in my life. Locking is okay, as long as release comes after it, following natural processes.

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