All school year I work in a school and have little energy for projects when I get home. So, I save up an internal list of projects for the summer, hoping I'll have time to get them done before work sweeps me up in it's busy rhythms again. It's easy, then, either start too many projects, or start several and live with a mess for weeks as I finish them slowly over summer. If I can be patient, it all eventually works out. It is hard to be patient with the mess, however, and I can be tempted to rush things. That usually doesn't work so well.
The same can be true for my painting. I sometimes stroke in the broad idea of a painting and then either rush through and over-paint the basic idea, or start too many at once and lose focus.
This painting of downtown Camden has rested, unfinished, on my window sill for over a year. I started it, was not happy with the direction it was headed, and stopped to give myself time to decide what needed to change. It is still there while other paintings have been started and finished just across the room on my easel. It stands there asking, each time I see it, "When will you get to me?"
Not yet. Maybe never. Maybe in a month I will see where to go and will surge forward with the changes needed. The canvas has become almost a symbol that it is okay to wait, to not know, to feel ambivolence, to live with the disquiet of not yet. My goal in my broader life is to feel all of these things with an underlying sense of peace. I'm trying to embrace the words of medieval mystic Julian of Norwich (one of my heros): All will be well, all will be well, all manner of things will be well.