I have done some canvasses lately – my first in months. The contrast from working on the streets is stark. Doing these canvasses reminded me about what I love in the process of painting on the streets:
The rather obvious limited prospect of correcting blunders. On the streets, everything has to be spot on the first time. When working with stencils, the creative process and all preparations is done in peace and quiet at home, but the actual painting has to be fast and promptly. On canvass I blank out and redo with only the slightest hint of underspray, blurred edges, and the likes -a nearly neurotic perfectionism that often kills all spontaneity and dynamism.
In addition to the needed speediness, the taint of adrenalin also has the effect of raised awareness and tunnel-vision focus. The creative process aside, the need for perfection at first try (in principle, far from always in effect), the awareness and focus, is hard to match in the studio. In my best moments, I might nearly reach that state, but most often I’m not even close.
To do street art is in this respect much like to give a lecture or a public speech. You may prepare all you want, but in the end it’s all in the moment. And as with such acts, doing street art builds up some tension, which takes time to drain away.
To come home from a painting expedition and go straight to bed – no matter how late, how little sleep I’ve got lately, or how early I have to rise the following morning (which unfortunately appears to have become an everlasting state) – is totally futile. To make use of some late/early hours to write up thoughts and impressions for a blog entry looks as the ideal way to cool down.