I am reading Clapton’s autobiography, this is a big deal because I’m not much of a reader and I am actually not just reading the text that are under all the pictures. There are hardly any pictures, so I kind of had to read it, it’s very good.
I found it fascinating that the day he realized he had a drinking problem, and admitted it to himself and a friend, he was fishing. He was in one of his drunk stupors that he would find himself in daily and went fishing, something he always enjoyed doing. He went to the bank, layed out his gear and stumbled about and stepped on and broke one of his rods. He was embarrassed and felt ashamed that it had gotten to the point where it affected such a pure thing as fishing, and realized that day he had a problem. Fishing is a place where you are even, thoughts become so clear, except when you have that awful song in your head, like.. “Islands in the Stream” or something by Billy Ocean.
Sometimes the best drawings are the quick ones….no time to think, just draw, and with marker, there ain’t no erasing son.
I don’t know how it works, but it is there. The “Flow” of painting, the “Flow” of the music (I’m going to stop quoting the word Flow now, because I will be saying it a lot and I’m lazy) the Flow of everyday life. I know Flow is there because you always know when it’s not there. I realized this the other night in an art that I have been trying to get better at, playing solos on guitar. In my painting world, the only Flow I am worried about is actually getting off my ass and painting. I am not going to say painting is easy for me, but when I do it, the sense of Flow happens, I can usually get where I want with it, where I hoped it would go. It’s not always perfect and never will be, but I am usually happy with it.
I have been playing guitar for 18 years, only rhythm up until last March where I started taking lessons in Atlanta. It was pretty strange taking lessons on an instrument I have been playing so long but even stranger that I really didn’t know how to play it. I only took a few lessons but it put me on the right track to learn where I wanted to go. I understand how the notes relate and the progressions and where to go next. It reminds me a lot of 20 years ago, envisioning a cool underwater fishing scene, but not be able to put it together with paint….I saw it, but couldn’t do it. For the first time, on stage this past Wednesday night, I felt the Flow up on stage with my guitar. I play with a blues house band on Wednesday nights at Home Team BBQ here in Charleston. Its pretty damn cool; you get up for 3 songs and just tell them what key you are in and we get after it. I played and sang and when my solo came around, it felt like I wasnt trying, I just played, I let it Flow, and it felt great. Now, I’m not saying it was good, I am just saying it felt easy, like I didn’t have to try, or look at my instrument….It felt awesome!!! Just like everything, Im sure I will hit my next roadblock with it, new challenges, harder licks and maybe won’t feel the music flowing through me again for a while, but the second it does, I will feel it, and there is nothing like it, nothing.
photo by Doug Roland
Couple new paintings: