noun: outburst; plural noun: outbursts
a sudden release of strong emotion.
"“she screamed at him about it one day,” said one source who witnessed the outburst"
- a sudden outbreak of a particular activity.
"a wild outburst of applause"
Similar: eruption, explosion, flare-up, rush, flood, paroxysm, surge
For the past 22 years, I've enjoyed the privilege of being able to paint nearly every day. It's a habit I don't even have to think about--I just show up and get right to work. Truth be told, it feels more like "play" than work. The act of painting allows me to take thoughts, ideas, feelings, and things I've read or heard, and create a visual framework that tells a story.
Many of my painting titles are taken from songs or books, or snatches of poetry, or a phrase I heard on the radio. I'm always in a state of readiness, taking in the sights and sounds that are going on all around me. Admittedly, I have to edit and filter down all of these influences in order to focus on what I want to paint and how I want to communicate with my viewing audience--that's where the real creativity begins.
I've always built up my paintings in layers, making many changes made as I go--until I feel satisfied that there's nothing more I need to add or remove. But this process can take months from start to finish, and partially relies on input from some of my trusted fellow artists in my critique group. This process works well and has yielded some of my best works---but it takes patience and time to get to where I can call a painting truly FINISHED.
In the past few months, I've experienced what I can only call "outbursts" (artbursts?) wherein I'm doodling on my paper palette paper, rolling black acrylic paint around with a sponge roller (the kind used to paint interior house trim) and suddenly I see a painting forming right on the palette paper! I quickly seize on this, and start wiping away parts of the black paint to form a figure, and I use the remaining paint on the foam roller to create an arm, a hip, etc. Within minutes, I've got a simple figure painting with great light and dark values and minimal color (black/white/grey). I stand back and realize there's nothing else I need to do to finish this--it's done. (The most recent example of this process is "Dispossessed", acrylic on paper, 12 x 18".)
It's a breathtaking and oh-so-brief experience that makes me feel I've discovered some hidden secret to the (painting) universe. It does no good to ask myself how it happened--I'm just grateful I recognized this different way of seeing/painting and made it part of my repertoire. It's a reminder that I need to continuously sharpen my skills of observation; like a chemist in a lab, I am experimenting with my materials to discover what happens next!