Michael Divine


I have been exploring other modes of painting creativity. I get very detail and precision oriented- and, right now, am working on a very tight mandala kind of painting which is growing into something very beautiful and softly gorgeous. But then my arm wants more because it can only hover in a kind of holding pattern for so long. My mind wants more. It wants the flying part where the paint is streaming out of me and I am painting on the edge of things. So i have taken to, while I am painting some crazily detailed painting, to work on something else or two as well. And it feels so wonderful.

I am awake now, at eleven am, after painting for many hours last night and then doing yoga in the wee hours before going to bed. I painted one new small painting (10″ x 20″) and then revisited an old painting which was left unfinished. There are a few paintings I have which were left unfinished. This one that I worked on last night, I saw it suddenly; I felt it and saw what I was afraid to do in it when I’d started it a year ago. Saw how to bring it together. So i pulled it out and it opened up and now is such an electrifying kind of swath of color and unfolding.

Besides the kind of beauty in the finely rendered detailed beauty in many of my paintings, I also want my work to be more present and spontaneous. I am inspired by people like Pollock and others from the Modern Art era in their spontaneity. This, i think, is the gift that modern art gave us. The ability to be spontaneous with our lines and colors- to just do what comes up. It had never worked like that before. So I find myself wanting to step out of the character which I become, as a painter. Which, of course, carries over into stepping out of the character I become as a person. I want to be more spontaneous. I want to be more explorative in my own life. I want to find new edges and new ways of expressing myself. I want to find the raw fires that burn rather than simmer. I want to break open dams and embrace boldness in step and motion. This is what the “practice” is. Sometimes, we practice being that thing that we wish to be in our practice so that it can carry over into the rest of our life. Since I have chosen painting as my practice, what better place?

When I awaken the next day, I am pleased with the images, the dashes and quick lines on the canvas. I feel ready to tackle the new day, having broken something open inside of myself. It is so easy to get tied up. Psychologically, metaphysically, even physically with all the stuff we fill our lives with. It is nice to untie myself sometimes.

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