reb efraim fishel

Painting: A Child’s Game

Painting is a child’s game. Every child paints. And those who paint are definitely children.

The game only begins when you face the blank page, the canvas, the stars when you face yourself. But, beware, we are playing for real, as children are.

Bare fingers squeeze tubes, mixing the mesh of colours. You soon confuse the brushes and you invariably need gloves ( boxing gloves, of course ) to punch harder and to take harsher blows.

At times, the brushstrokes might hurt a lot.

The most crucial thing…is not to fear.

The challenge is to feint, sidestep, surprise and attack. You must beat and bang. As if in a boxing ring – you have to be careful not to fly off the ropes, not to be thrown overboard. In the end, it is often settled with a knife: you tear up the page or you rip the canvas. When the wound is finally open, the pain resides and the colors can begin to flow and spread out.

It is a personal battle, against yourself. At times, you screech in delight. Alone against all; against the whole world. You will cry out in victory, but it is in jest.

Shouting, singing, crying or even laughing: to survive, to breathe and be able to live; to love and to smile and to share.

Painting is exhausting. It is also exhausting and exhilarating.

In a corner of the canvas, in the texture of the grain, between two shades, you might discover the dazzling sparkles of the absolute. In the solitude of your studio, when the shapes and colours merge, you may feel the excitement and elation experiencing the moment of creation; almost as a revelation. Then, all of a sudden you feel the fleeting Presence of Somebody…

Complete; you rest your brushes, remove your gloves, put away your knives, re-cap the tubes of colour, wipe your fingers then your eyes, inhale deeply and continue to move on, observing the stars.

Painting is truly a child’s game!

Michel Koginsky

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