Ready to Shoot

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.

If you have not read the other posts, you might want to just quickly return to them, to know what this is all about. Part 1- There is a Kudu in my Studio  & Part 2 -Shoot Me!

Shoot Me - If You Can (Digitally altered painting)

Shoot Me – If You Can (Digitally altered painting)

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

  1. Decide what I am going to do and
  2. 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!  🙂

Preparation Sketch for the kudu painting

Preparation Sketch for the kudu painting


4 thoughts on “Ready to Shoot

  1. juttadobler

    :-). There you go! Sometimes the answer is just so ‘simple’. Wonderful that you have remembered that you have a choice in this! No, you cannot shoot her, and that is great! Maybe that is a message to look at where else in your life you put yourself into a corner because of expectations that come at you, instead of seeing that you do not have to take them on. Lots of love, do not want to shoot you 🙂 xxxxx

    1. Imke Rust Post author

      Yes, so true! that is a big lesson, applying to so many parts of my life. Thank you for pointing that out. I am so grateful for the lessons and the wise and wonderful friends like you who help me understand and embrace them! SEnding you love and hugs! xxx

  2. Indigo Spider

    I confess to being relieved you did not shoot. Shooting equates to killing, violence, destruction in my mind so even if it was just a painting and not a living kudu, I still don’t like the idea of “shooting” her. Suppose that’s why she says, “If you dare!”

    I am not a painter or visual artist but I completely understand:
    “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.”

    When I speak with other writers we often say how the characters speak to us, that they are telling us their stories, and they are very real in a way. Non-writers usually think us crazy because they do not understand — although, I know I am a bit crazy so, there is that 😉

    1. Imke Rust Post author

      I understand that you are relieved. 🙂 I think to me it was really a lesson to become aware of the power of vulnerability on the one side. Ie. how powerful it is to say: here I am, in your hands, throw the first stone, or shoot me, I am not afraid… by putting the choice so consciously into my court, she excercised extreme grace and power. When we, as artists or humans, can stand up and say ‘here I am and I am perfect with my imperfections’ we will become stronger.

      On the other side a lesson about our own power: we have the power to create and to destroy. Ultimately I think it does not matter which we choose, in the greater picture it is neither good or bad. But what we choose, will define who we are. We will have to live with our choices and the consequences.

      I am crazy too. 🙂 If anybody wants to ‘shoot’ me because of that, go ahead – if you can. 😉


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