I could speculate to the end of time. I may never know the answer.
So here I have a story. A picture book, really. My daughter came up to my studio last Friday night and helped me out a bit. She saw that I was attempting a self-portrait and also saw I was struggling. In fact, she told me I looked like a mad scientist (accurate?) and though I had to laugh I also had to admit she was right. All I could do--all anyone would have done--was hand her over the brush and palette.
I told her to go to it. And she did. With complete courage fearlessness and silliness she completely took over. I watched and snapped photos and listened to what she had to say about it all. Fascinating stuff.
She seemed relatively happy with the changes she had made. Upon inspecting the final outcome she shrugged her shoulders and said as she smiled "it's only a painting. It's not the most important thing in the world or anything."
Whoa. Isn't it? Well, if it is then my priorities may be a bit screwed up. I tell ya--she sure didn't think it was the most important thing in the world and didn't care that it wasn't. To her it was just so awesome that I let her paint over one of my paintings.
Have I lost my ability to just paint for the sake of painting? If so, I want it back. Also, I need a new canvas. This one's going on the wall.