When I paint, I go beyond what the eyes visibly see. I feel the flow of infinite energy, the continual renewal of the universe. Molecules, atoms and cells always in motion, nothing is real and still as it visually appears. Life is simply flowing energy. That is what I paint.
I don’t use a paintbrush, but instead find it more exciting to experience the fluidity of the flowing paint as I pour it onto the canvas. Sometimes I roll the paint, again, feeling the flowing movements of motion.
My paintings may appear chaotic and uncontrolled to some, but to the contrary, I guide the paint in the direction I want it to go, while at the same time, the paint guides me. I enjoy the feeling of freedom as I glide the stick over the canvas in various liquid dancing movements.
Some may say “how childlike, any child can do that!” My response? Yes. Actually, children are less inhibited than adults. They paint for the “process”, the fun of doing it, rather than an end product. Adults have a much harder time with this, wanting that “end product”, especially one that they can quickly recognize and identify without much thought. Sadly, they miss the most important part, which is the actual process.
With my former background in early childhood education, a Montessori teacher of 3 to 6 year olds, I think I learned this from the children. Process is more important than outcome. When children are given the freedom to move around freely, to explore and discover for themselves, they learn and work much better. They become self -driven and more confident in the free environment. Adults are the same way! I give myself the freedom to explore the canvas with the paint, with no inhibitions or stress to produce a perfect end product, but rather, allow myself to discover the painting as I go along. The end product is important of course, but secondary to the process. In experiencing this freedom, like the child in the Montessori classroom, it ultimately leads to a much better outcome.
Finally, when people look at my paintings, I want them to see the movement and flow, to experience the energy in everything. This is the movement of life. As my squiggles merge, dance and connect together, recognize that we are ever moving, changing and growing; life is one connected energy force connecting us to the universe. This is what I call “the dance of life.”
Rachel Golub is an artist and teacher