With painting nothing is ever ruined. Even after the ink or paint has spilled and bled all over the place, once it’s dry you can pick yourself up where you left off and make the best of it.
It’s actually in those times when the stakes are at their highest, or when you’ve already kinda failed, that you can throw the risk of failure out the window and get on with it. It’s also that tightrope of anxiety and abandon from which the best work originates.
Of all things to bring me back to considering making art again, the first inklings came while refurbishing pipe organ components (lots of leather pneumatics and little mechanical parts). Being in a shop gave me access to a lot of materials similar to an artists studio, and a lot of tools. Working with my hands on those components is a very craft like occupation . While in idle time waiting for something to dry (or in the case of hide glue, warm up) I’d often find myself doodling , or arranging scraps of leather into artful images… and it felt great! Then the thought would gently seep into my head ‘maybe I should make art again’?
‘We’ll see’, I’d reply.
Then one strange day while my friend , fellow songwriter and indie label originator Eric Brombacher (of Eastside Confectionery Records) and I were scheming about my future album releases told me he wanted me to draw or paint for my next release I was immediately thrown into a state of dumbfounded joy. The medium for getting my art out into the world had just fallen into my lap and it felt profound.
Did he know that I used to love making art? How could he?
‘I used to draw and paint a lot’ I said, thinking to myself so did everyone and their grandmother. Well, I decided, I’m going to do it! And I’m going to show that I’m just not everyone and their grandmother!
Eric believed in me, and that was just the little push I needed.
I think paintings are like steak, better under done than over done. A revelation I hope I can remember and put into practice often.
Join us for the launch of “Gunslinger” by Andrew James Barker on Saturday October 21st, 8:30pm at Gerrard Art Space (1475 Gerrard Street East) — Special Guests: The Bop Fi’s!