Paint gets laid down in layers. I start with a layer of gesso on the canvas. Maybe a layer of light blue will go on top of that. Then I begin to “sketch” the composition. From there, I just sort of play with the colors and shapes, beginning with broad strokes, and gradually refining and adding detail.
This is how the moments of our lives get layered. We keep what works and we refine or erase the rest. We go through “ugly” phases, which are just part of the process.
We’re not quite finished with that part yet.
I’m working on a large canvas. It’s a common theme for me, fish swimming in the trees. I add detail, and then I may obliterate with a big brush, and try again. All of those layers are still in there. That process informs the final result. The old details still lurk within the layers of paint.
In the same way, the details of my life still swim in hidden layers, informing today’s version of me. The disappointments and unsuccessful attempts dart about in the deep end, though the surface may appear calm or reflect something beautiful.