Celebrating the Blank Canvas

It is probably one of the most talked about aspects of art – staring at the blank canvas, or the blank page, afraid to take the first step. To make the first mark. Not knowing what to do first.

But I tell you, don’t fear the blank canvas – celebrate it! Rejoice in the infinitie possibilities!

I just bought 3 new canvases today. Fresh and pure. Their mere ‘whiteness’ inspires me. My only hesitation is what to start with first. Will I mar their perfectness by smudging something less than brilliant on them? Is perfection expected? Or even necessary?

Not at all!!!! By this afternoon I’ll have at least one less than perfect canvas that reflects the non-perfect me. It will be bright and bold and colourful with speckles of vibrant personality sprinkled throughout.  Or maybe dark and moody befitting a previous mood or sunny and full of expectations for the unknown wonders that will come to me today. The only thing I’m sure of is that it will reflect me at that moment I make the first mark. I might look upon it tomorrow and wonder what I was thinking.  Try to decipher the message that was so clear today. And a month from now I might even marvel at my own brilliance for a brief second or two before I push this canvas to the back of the closet, determined to work on a new masterpiece to reflect the new, ‘more mature’ me.

Think of it like diving into a swimming  pool. You stand on the diving board, bouncing up and down as you look down at the crystal clear cold water. Anxious. Filled with dread for that first second when the cold wetness sucks you under, holding you in its icy grasp. And yet, you hunger for the coolness of the water, to slice into it with your body, as a knife in butter. The oppressive heat of the day depletes your energy and just inches away the pool offers a renewal of your body and spirit. Slowly you continue to bounce. Up. Down. Up. Down. When what you should really do is jump in excitedly as though you were five again and afraid of nothing, except maybe a wayward monster hiding in your closet.

Jump in without thinking. Just feel your inner child’s excitement. Its the same with the blank canvas. Or the blank page.


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