Someone long ago had painted “ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW” on a sidewalk at the University of Michigan. I don’t know if it was something I walked over once or everyday while I was there, but it was forever etched into my memory. Struggle against the flow. Go with the flow. Fight. Surrender. I don’t have the answers. Some days it’s one. Some days the other. Making art is a struggle. Sometime you find that flow and go with it. The painting comes easy. Some days not. But I understand the game. “Don’t fall in love with the background!” The “ugly teenager” phase. It’s temporary! The “click” when it starts to come together. And I know the materials. I feel competent that I can make them do my bidding. No big surprises. And then I started painting with encaustics, and the unknown is as vast as an ocean. I am a beginner here. Any sense of control that I may feel is false. With heat the wax becomes fluid and unpredictable. The lines move. Too much heat and you melt through to the wood panel underneath all those layers. You blow a hole into the painting. And you have…
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