Posts Tagged ‘insight’

The Post – Insight

April 27, 2008

I had this idea last summer about selecting an emotion, and trying to put it on canvas…just let whatever arose in me when thinking of and feeling that emotion, flow down through the paintbrush, into the oil paints and emerge on the canvas. I started two of them – one called “Insight” and the other called “Uncertainty.”

Uncertainty is half-finished…I think. Maybe more than half. Maybe less. I’m uncertain. 🙂 Actually, sorry, just couldn’t resist joking around. It is not finished yet, though after staring at it on the garage wall for a year, I sense now what to do to finish conveying that. Sometime this week, I’ll post pictures of the current state of that painting, then get back to work on it.

The one I have here today, Insight, I just finished this week. It was actually “just about” complete last year, but I kept staring at it and feeling it lacked enough depth. This past week I did a bit more and feel better with it. So I think it’s done. Unless I change my mind. : ) Even in insight, there is uncertainty.

In actuality, I think that was the thing I discovered about insight as I painted it. I know for myself, and maybe others feel this too, that when someone speaks of “gaining insight into something” the perception is that lightbulbs go off, the sun blindingly breaks through blackness, angels sing, and music blares because now, having insight, everything is solved.

I realized as I painted and thought about it, that insight is much more subtle, less certain, and often still pretty tentative. You have that lightbulb moment, yes. Out of TOTAL darkness where you can’t see your hand in front of your face, there is suddenly a glow up ahead that shows a way out. However, it is still not without shadows and dark crevices. Just because you gained some insight into something doesn’t mean you solved it all and now all your problems are over. Like Jesus sending the Apostles back out to fish in the morning after they spent an entire night catching nothing, gaining an insight doesn’t free you from the fact that you still have work to do and probably some things still to clarify.

Yet, there is that glow, a highlight showing the way, hope out of despair, and maybe hope is insight’s biggest gift.


Close-ups of the top and bottom halves of the painting: