Sunday, February 28, 2016

How does it feel to be an artist and paint?


I wished to try to explain how it feels to be an artist and  paint.

I will talk about two different experiences.

working on three large paintings all at the same time - Dec 2015

This painting I worked on for three weeks. And I dance and enjoyed the building up the layers of paint. Great satisfaction and joy.

In the final stages of working on this painting I feel like an egg. I feel like an egg being dropped from an airplane. Sky diving or suicide. I am completely alive. My heart is beating so passionately. I can feel the red blood pumping like a volcano. But it is more like drinking a fine wine. The wine swims and washes the palette of my mouth. I eat a perfectly grilled steak off the barbeque that had been marinated in Montreal steak spice. Roasted vegetables with pink Himalaya sea salt and ground pepper and extra virgin olive oil. The wine just wash everything down. Everything is blended and mixed. I savor the moment. I am not in a rush everything slows down, pay attention. I actively participate in this conversation with my canvas. I feel perfectly content. My heart grows. My blood warms.

I walk out off the plane. I fall into the sky. My soul is open to everything. Thousands of butterflies are released. I am naked. I am completely vulnerable. All my senses are sensitive. My nose smells the perfume air like a lover that has blanketed herself over me. I am distilled, cocooned, nested in this perfect intimate moment.

I keep falling and falling. I am that fragile egg that is falling. I hold nothing back. My heart is open. I give and give. I touch the canvas with great tenderness and abundant generosity. I approach this precious moment like I am holding my daughter's hand as we walk in a park. We stop to pick flowers. We sit in the long golden grass. I thread some wild daisies into chains and place them in her hair. Each petal is so delicate. She is my jewel.

All the crocuses, tulips, daffodil bulbs bloom inside and break through my skin like spring. I get goose bumps, or perhaps frostbite... as it sometimes is very cold. Blue blood. I feel everything. I cut myself open. The zipper of soul is undressed and my skin is left on the ground like a snake skin. I keep bleeding and I keep believing.

work table and palette

I empty over 50 large tubes of paint in under two hours. It is a massive party. I have all the voices singing inside my head. It is a house party where all my friends celebrate creativity and we all drink, dance and share love. There are no rules, only pure freedom.

I keep falling... the egg is falling and falling. This moment continues.. and I hold this bliss.

Then I have reached the submit of the mountain. I have reached the top of K2 in my creative mind. And then suddenly the egg hits the ground. And everything inside me has exploded on the blank canvas.

Painting along the Ottawa River in Aylmer. 
oil on canvas. 30 x 72 inches. Nov - Dec 2015
Price: $4000



Then there is second moment that I would wish to share with you. I worked on the painting over over a week.  I will talk about the last day of working on the painting.

I am painting along the Ottawa River in Aylmer. It is extremely windy. This time I have both winter boots feet on the ground. I am not in a plane. But it is winter and the winter wind is strong and cold. I feel like a little boy that is trying to fly a kite. The ghost of my father is beside me. My mother is holding me despite living on the other side of the country. Just because they are not next to me does not mean that they are not with me. I am alone. I do my best to embrace the freedom of myself. Sometimes it is not easy. And I say to myself. Being alone is being in good company. But a painting is not a lover. It is not a friend. It does not hold you. It does not kiss you. You do not snuggle a painting.

Working on a painting... winter winter winter day... lol

So I am that little boy trying to fly his kite on a very windy day. But as I become more centered. More creative. As I become the painter that is falling into the rainbow of pigments in his canvas. I leave my body. I forget that it is cold. I am a soul. I am energy. I am the wind. I am the snow blowing in the wind. There is an invisible energy that flows in the current of my soul. I am that snow flake that melts on my face. I am transforming. I am.... I am alive in that moment.

taking break to make a snow angel  - :)


I am that kite that is blowing around. But the wind is so strong. The kite speeds up, spins around around and around. But the wind is wild and out of control. So the kite nose dives to the ground. My palette blows 20 plus feet across the field. My canvas blows off the table - throws itself. I am lucky that the canvas does not break. My bones are stronger. I eat nails for breakfast. I am Rocky. I am do not accept failure. I embrace the pleasure and the pain equally. It is intensely cold outside. For a second my fingers are really cold. They feel like I hit them with a hammer. My fingers are screaming. And I am unplugged from the electricity, as I have to go get my canvas that blew, flew, and landed on the snow ground. Blue blood. Red blood. I am that kite. I get my palette and brushes. I have to smile. I smile and embrace the crazy beautiful moment. I am not complaining. I am sharing. I love the intensity of everything.

My palette and canvas blown away

So I continue to be that boy trying to learn to fly his kite. It is a dream. A crazy dream. The wind gets more turbulent. I am doing my best to satisfy my soul. The painting blows crazy... it will not stay still. So I feel like I am play fighting with a lover. I pin her down in the bed of my mind. Try to kiss her. She is resisting. So I need to use gentle strength. She is trying to tickle me. And I do not wish to goof around. I want to make tender passionate love. But mother nature is wanting to play fight. I refer to the canvas as a woman... (but really this is asexual reproduction... lol). No judgment please. Just a metaphor. :)

I put the painting on the ground... less likely to blow away. 

Well I massage the canvas. I caress every inch of the surface. I am a baker making bread. A carpenter. I am a make up artist putting mascara on her beautiful eye lashes. I am a proud father that is changing my daughter's diaper. I am the gardener who is taking time to pull out the weeds. I am the clown trying to make you laugh and add happiness to your day. I also feel like a fool... for every moment is lost in time and these paintings are not alive. Empty tubes of paint. Blank canvases. And these paintings are not water, they are not sunshine that makes flowers grow. Everything is Art. Art is not everything. But if sure is a dream to make art.

Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment.

Live Love Art
Patrick John Mills




3 comments:

Jack said...

Very poetic description of your process Patrick. I love the similes and metaphors. You are a true artist in many ways.

Fran Watson said...

Very powerful Patrick.... your love for your art comes bursting forth through your words as your soul bursts forth onto your canvases.

Marlita said...

You are everything there is to describe and artist. Most of all, true to your passion and desire to share. i love following your endeavors, whether it be under the summer sun or the frosty days in March to renovations. You never cease to amaze me.