This year for my birthday my wonderful husband and children got me two large, sturdy, wooden easels for the studio. This week I’ve been enjoying christening my easels by starting and working on new projects.
Some people may be reluctant to get paint all over something so pretty and brand new, but easels are made to be used and by golly I’m going to use mine!
There’s something almost mystical about paint covered easels. It says that art was created on this, that magic happened here. And by setting up a brand new, pristine canvas on a paint stained easel, it says that magic is going to happen again. Sometimes I think that a little bit of the creative energy gets left behind with the paint splatters and streaks and that the more the easel is used the more the more creative energy it absorbs.
When I first started hosting my painting events, people were a little hesitant to use the provided easels when they were still brand new. I think the clean new surface added to the anxiety that many people feel when they’re about to engage in an activity thats new and outside their comfort zone. A clean easel says that they are the first ones to go on a journey. What if they do something wrong? What if they go the wrong way? Maybe its better to just stay where you are and not risk it. Where as a well used, paint splattered easel says relax, someone’s been here before and made it through so you will too. The paint left behind which could be seen as a mistake or an accident, somehow gives the new painter courage.
Because what is art really but a series of accidents and mistakes that somehow come together to make something beautiful.