By Mason Gehring
Painting, left: Standing In The Sea, acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 12″, 2020
Preview image: Death Mask, acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″, 2020
A big part of processing and understanding my new health related outlook on life is done by meditating, talking with my therapist, and of course painting. I meditate every morning (well, most mornings) and attend a meditation class Wednesday nights. We sit for 20 minutes quietly and then afterwards we have a group discussion about life. This is where I have had the most accomplishments moving through understanding having epilepsy and moving forward. It’s not just sitting quietly and trying to let thoughts go, this is allowing what is really terrifying to you come at your face, experiencing it, and then asking it to leave. I had a big break through facing that I am not a sick person and what I am is my love. I am not my body. I am not all of the labels that I carry. I am the love that I share with people. I am healing because of this love. And every time I create I am releasing this love. Every time I teach I am sharing this love.
Because of this, I have tried being more spontaneous in some of my latest paintings. I have been trying to get better at using a pallet knife because I really love what it can do. I am barely at a place where I can tolerate my skill at it so far. Recently when I sit down to paint, I’ll grab a pallet knife and start working colors across a canvas to practice and see what happens. This helps my brain and hands warm up to the creative process and if I look at this process as “play” it doesn’t frustrate me as much because I feel like I still suck at it pretty hard. I then allow my eyes and imagination to see what images are arising from the marks made in different colors. I then will jump in and use my brush (my preferred tool) to complete the vision. Most of the images so far I am not super satisfied with and I’m not allowing myself to paint over them like I normally do. I am letting the paintings sit around the studio for a bit to see how my opinion fluctuates with time. I am the queen of painting over paintings and I don’t know how long these pieces of mediocrity will last. Regardless I’m feeling more liberated creatively and emotionally. I’m looking forward to pulling all of the work I’ve created and editing it to create a cohesive body of work that can tell my story.
Horizon, acrylic on canvas, 12″x12″, 2020
Release Me, acrylic on canvas, 12″x12″, 2020
Little Me, acrylic on canvas, 9″ x 12″, 2020
Down Time, acrylic on cradled wood, 9″ x 12″, 2020