If you are a regular follower of my creative experiences on my blog, you might have wondered what happened to the kudu painting. Yes the one that asked me to ‘Shoot it – if I can’. And as promised, here is an update.
When I finished the painting, I had to wait for a stretcher frame to be made, so that I could transport it safely and easily. Unfortunately it was Christmas time and the framers were just ready to leave on holiday, but they promised to make it as soon as they return.
That gave me some time to
- Decide what I am going to do and
- arrange everything necessary.
I kept looking deep into the kudu’s eyes, to try and decide if I could shoot her. And if yes, how exactly would I go about it. She was silent and I knew the ball was in my court. She asked me to shoot her, and I had to answer.
Finally I agreed. If that is what she wants, I will do it. Yes, I will shoot her. She will show me how.
For the practical part of doing it, I have talked to a dear friend, and after some hesitation he agreed to help me take the painting out to his farm and shoot it. So everything was set. Just waiting for the frame, so that I could stretch the painting…
I realised that shooting the painting stirred a lot of emotions and questions in me. Why was her request so unsettling? And, on the other side, intriguing? Shooting to me is about killing. So I would have to kill this painting. Why do I have such a problem with killing something that is not alive?
Oh, but wait. It is not alive? Who said that? To me a painting is very much alive. Artists are often asked, when they know that a painting is finished. I know mine is finished, when it suddenly feels alive, when it becomes an energised, almost breathing entity, when I have the feeling it has a identifiable personality that can survive on its own in the world. When it becomes separate from me. (I know this sounds strange, but that is what it feels like to me.)
Anyway, I could write so much more on the thoughts and emotions that I had, but I am afraid this post will get too long. I hope to still share my insights in some other form later. I think the main thing was to go through the motions, make up my mind and trust life to take its course. Who knows what will come from it.
So here I was, ready and well prepared to shoot. Honouring my part of the agreement. Shoot her – if I can.
I could not.
By some fluke the framers took longer than expected and the painting literally arrived back in my studio a few hours before I left to Europe. There was just no time to shoot.
She is save and I am relieved! 🙂