First Painting

…..My first painting was completed between January and February of this year. The title, as if it really needed one, is ‘Ready, Aim, Fire’. The theme is passion, lust, blood, bruises, tears and eternal peace. I painted it with oils that I had bought for my estranged wife. She and I are now separated. Somehow it has served, in my mind, as the apotheosis of our turbulent relationship. Not because of its turbulent themes, but more because of its timing. I finished it and, soon thereafter, left.

By buying her the oils, the brushes, the easel, all the gear to make art I had hoped to bridge the divide between us, to plant the seed of a mutual creativity. Abstract painting is not entirely demanding. It simply requires the will to create. Unfortunately, with me, she really didn’t have that will. I left her with a blank canvas that still sits on its easel, where I had walked her through the process of applying gesso, to prepare the canvas. I’m a mere beginner myself, so I felt like the blind leading the blind. But everytime I return to the old house, that I still own with her, the blank painting has not moved, the image of nothing, of preparation with no fruition. Thinking back to the events that led to our relationship’s demise – our infertility, my infidelity, our incompatibilities – it’s that painting, that blank painting that becomes the sum, the true symbol of the relationship. A canvas prepared with no color.

Then again, that kind of dramatic nonsense is trite. The truth is so much deeper and so much more shallow all at the same time. I have yet to begin a second painting. I left all the oils with her. Posted by Picasa