Having been in a creative career most of my adult life, I know how long the process can be and how much end products generally differ from the starting vision. Drafts of blogs I’ve been composing in my head for weeks or months always come out strikingly different once my fingers start flying over the keys. Sometimes I watch in amazement as these other thoughts I didn’t know I had just seem to form on paper. Recently this phenomenon happened in a simple, clear way that while I was working on a simple art project I conceived of years ago.
I have an affinity for being “punny, ” much to the dismay of those who must spent time with me. About 4 years ago I thought it would be funny to get an old weathered board and just paint “I’m bored” on it. A board is saying it’s bored, get it? The picture in my head was a piece was a piece of weathered white board like it had been part of a fence.
The idea has never left my mind but for whatever reasons I never did it. When I saw a board I liked in a friends driveway, the project was finally underway. It wasn’t white though, so I had to think about things for a while. I drove around with it for weeks before getting myself to storage to pull out my paints and painting tools and found a place to set it all up. During this time a smaller brown board caught my eye. It wasn’t the rough kind of wood I wanted, but I said to myself “Ruth, you really should try this out before you paint the board you spent 4 years looking for. You should do a practice one.” I agreed with myself.
I tried painting it white and but it wasn’t working for me – at least not on that kind of wood so I had fun with paint and then when I went to write my funny, punny words, I suddenly thought “would it be funnier if I did the accurate b-o-a-r-d spelling and the pun is made in the head, not thrown in your face.” And so I did. All who I’ve shown it to or told about it agree that is punnier.
What fascinates me is the spontaneity of the change, given that I’d never thought about doing that before. And that I immediately committed to try. I wonder if I’d done it a year ago would it have come out different? Was the wait necessary for my brain to make the shift? I wasn’t ready to create this masterpiece? I have no answers but am in awe of the creative process, whatever it is. And the painting does make me happy – because it’s funny.