Some Heavy Lifting

Some Heavy Lifting
By Mason Gehring
March 8th, 2021


Image below: Exquisite, Acrylic on canvas, 11″x17″, 2017
Preview Image: Disintegrate, Acrylic on canvas, 18″x24″, 2017

I have my roll of giant canvas, my huge stretcher bars, and I just need to figure out when to schedule some time for my boyfriend and I to tackle this project. These objects haven’t even been created yet and I have some dread of what to do once they are here. It’s a strange feeling of excitement and resistance. It’s becoming more real so the doubts and weight of how will I achieve something I like and is meaningful to me is setting in. 

I have to start giving myself my own advice, “You need to just go and play.” Lean into the excitement and infinite possibilities and don’t feel like you have to get it right the first day. This has been an issue of mine because I’ve done it before. It’s a blessing and a curse. 

I’ve sat down and created paintings that I LOVE in one sitting, maybe taking an hour or two. It’s exhilarating! It’s kind of an out of body experience, like my hand and brain are being guided by other forces or creatures and I’m just the fleshy vehicle for the moment. It’s affirming that all of the time and money and effort invested in my craft is paying off. The allusive achievement of creating success in one session is addictive and is something I definitely chase unfortunately. Is it validation of my ego? Acknowledging my practice as successful? It’s probably all of those things but it’s not worth striving for in the end.

The creative process is about practice, commitment, and confidence. You have to have the confidence in yourself to push through the rough patches and commit to your practice, that’s it. The moments of sitting down and achieving something I love are few and far between many paintings that are laborious and I don’t think that it means that my creativity is lacking. I think it means, just keep practicing. 

It’s like I forget this all the time and have to remind myself. Because the more I try to replicate or tap into what I think is needed to achieve success in one sitting, the further it is from my reach. To achieve it I can’t want it.

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