Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

“Going Home”

Going Home, Diptych in 30 x 40, Acrylic with Texture on Canvas, 2010,  800x530

Going Home 2010

This painting took months of work and many stages of development. At one point the piece had balanced color and images, and still it did not satisfy me. I could not answer the question, “What did it mean to me?” So I kept painting. Somewhere in the process a song about going home started to play in my head as I painted and that is how I chose its title.

Due to its scale this painting represented a significant challenge for me and a stretch of my abilities. It requires more of me to create a dynamic balanced work of this size. On a number of occasions during its creation, I felt completely stopped. I heard in my head, “Well perhaps I cannot work on this large a scale. I am glad I gave it a try.”  Stuck and discouraged, I asked myself, “What is this piece about? Where is it going?”

After a rest, I heard a helper voice, a more soothing one in my inner ear. It said, “Do you feel moved to add paint anywhere?”  I answered, “Well, ok, here I can put on a little pink.”  So I did that. Then I looked and asked again, “Anywhere needed paint?” and so it went for awhile in bits with pauses. After some time like this I regained momentum and could easily see what was needed and work in longer stretches again. I pleased myself with its completion.

Recovering from the stuck phase I’ve described meant two important things to me: 1) I brought this painting to a satisfying resolution, and it represents an evolution in my ability to create, and 2) I enjoy noticing this lesson in how to overcome discouraged energy, to restore vitality after stuck moments. Patience, curiosity, kindness to self, persistence—these qualities worked for me to reach forward with my work.


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