Painting Barefoot

I’ve recently started painting again. After a trip to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC I came back to St. Louis with a desire to paint with bold colors on big canvases. Inspired by Jackson Pollock, all of the ‘big paintings’ have been laid on the floor of my basement and painted while standing over the canvas and letting the paint drip or flow onto the canvas in random fashion. I like deciding the color palette for each work and then being afraid that after only two of the five colors, the painting might be ‘done’ and worrying, “if I add another color, will I ruin it?” So far, I haven’t ruined anything. (I do them for fun, so I don’t have too much ownership over the artistic outcome.) I work slow, adding one color every day or three or four, depending upon what the painting and/or Spirit is whispering to me. But the one thing I realized today – I always paint barefooted.

For some reason, I feel it is sacrilegious to paint with anything on my feet: I need to feel the floor. Without socks of shoes in the way, I can feel the floor, or the energy of the earth rising through the floor, and I feel grounded in the task at hand. Being barefooted makes me more present to what I’m doing, and more attentive. I think I might start taking my shoes off when I pray and see what happens.

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