Written and Painted by: Sam Rathvon
Once, in an English class that I did not particularly care for, I heard an amazing story. My professor told of a poet who worked in a field. It was said that he could feel a poem coming like a calm breeze passing through the grains of wheat. The poet would run as fast as he could back to the house to find some means of capturing the poem; always hearing its inspiration drawing nearer and nearer. Sometimes, he would make it back to his house in time to gather some paper and ink before the train passed his station. However, there were just as many times when he felt the poem pass him by like a gust in the wind. Gone forever, and never to return.
The poem was in search of someone to capture.
In many ways I feel the same about painting. The paint knows where it wants to go, I am merely just the conduit it chooses to pass through on it’s way to a final destination.
When I sat down to paint during a late sleepless night, I was in a dark place. I was irritated at life, and I felt like I wanted nothing to do with anyone or anything. I heard my paints calling to me. So I sat down, and looked deep into the canvas, but saw nothing. I decided a tree would be interesting to paint. No thought or internal discussion was made. I went about putting down a large blob of burnt umber. I expected to see the color of dry bark spew forth from the tub, but instead I was met with a glob that was far too large and far too black. I stood and starred at the paint for a minute. What in God’s name am I going to do with all this black?
Then just as the paint flew forth from the tub so did my emotions crawl on to the canvas, as if they were looking for a place to escape the over crowding. What I can only describe as an emotional hurricane ensued. As more and more paint dried to the canvas, a vision that I didn’t know that I had began to take shape.
My emotion had created a kind of sharper Rorschach spatter. I did not feel any kind of ownership over the completed piece. The canvas had caught the emotional hurricane splashing waves within my head. Catharsis is the best word I know for it.
I never thought that all the noise in my head would ever be turned into something beautiful… ©