In Need of Grace to Paint and to Give

Why do I torture myself so? I ask myself this every time I start a new portrait.

The beginning seems so easy: ideas grace the mind…an outline drawn…the hollow of a mystical person appears.

The Giver in Process 1

But then it doesn’t take long for excitement to give way to feelings of helplessness as I enter into that dark space between the envisioned creation and ineptness.

Yes, sometimes painting can be torturous—wrestling with uncertainty, wandering in aimlessness, facing the impossible.

And then just about the time I’m tempted to give up, the face forming on the canvas looks into my eyes and begs for release—to be created, to be born. She seems to have a message to give, and I feel a sense of compulsion to make it possible. But I can’t promise her a thing. I don’t know if I can rescue her let alone make her into something lovely that speaks to the heart.


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