Well then. 2019. It's been a while since I've been here. It's time. 2018 brought about a lot of change and forced reflection. A lot pondering what the heck is actually important to me. A lot of realizations and big steps forward.
As every artist knows, reflection is a necessity for creative output. I think most of us fall into patterns and habits that keep us coasting along merrily, or so it seems until WHAM! We're blindsided by something that sets us on our ass. This happened twice in '18. What a year. The fertile soil that was upturned though... oh my. I feel alive in ways I have not known. I feel like I've unlocked rooms in my soul that go deeper than I realized I could go. Black earth. The rich depths of the blackest, hottest earth bursting with life. That's where I am. And I want more.
This year, I want to go beyond. I want to go deeper than ever into my life. My subconscious. The very essence of my being. My Spirit. My ancestry. My deepest knowing, to the very brink of all existence. I'm hungry. To know God, to know Myself, to know everything. And I want to express this in such painful precision through my artwork. Pardon the drama but
I AM RAVENOUS.
This red pepper is from a new sketch project I've begun, "Contours around the house". I love contour drawing because I love the feeling of looking at the shape of something (especially organic) and recreating the lovely, uneven lines that exist in all natural things. The human figure is the best but in a pinch I go to the crisper. :) These are quick sketches in ink which keep me loose and keep my eyes open.
I've been discussing lately with my creative friends whether process is as important as the final product when creating something.
I believe it's first and foremost important to feel 100% great about something you are putting out into the world. And you should be able to talk about your work - which leads me to process. Without process, there would be no experiments, happy accidents or expressive art for that matter. Not to mention the traditional realms of creating which usually involve very precise processes. So yes, I think process may be even more important than the end result. Process is a result of the need to create. Some artists research a great deal before starting a project. Some have ritualistic preparations they need to endure. Some, like me, follow instictually a spark or brief inspirational encounter then analyze and debrief myself on the meaning (including how I felt and what drove me emotionally during the making) afterwards.
Being an expressive and emotionally driven artist, I believe without sincerity and genuineness in process, the end product means nothing at all.
I spent this snow day working on a new painting. it's really exciting to see all the paint fill in to create something new. Magical. Part planning, part intuition and partially its own volition. It becomes what it wants to be. A living thing with its own energy apart from me. A creation.
Just like me. I create myself with the energies and thoughts I put into me. I've started to become more aware of how I think and feel toward myself. Generally I think I'm pretty awesome, but maybe I can really blow the roof off this existence if I treat myself well every day... magic!
As for this painting, so far I luuuurve it. we'll see where that goes too.
"Happiness hit her like a bullet in love.." Florence, Dog Days
Like many of you I am often flailing toward some semblance of a balanced life. Time is constantly being sliced up into tiny bite-sized pieces of work, daughter, meals, chores and often lastly, art... not to mention time with friends who get kicked to the curb in the stead of these many other commitments (sorry).
Now that Spring is trying desperately to hump our legs I find more than ever a crave to create. Impulse is dying to take command of this tired ship but the crew just will not lay down to mutiny. My commitments force upon me a temperance to my designs on the alluring impulse. I can't wait to get to work! ...but, right I have to do that thing. I have to make a meal. I have to ...[fill in the blank]. So I bide my moments of freedom semi-planning an attack on my next creative endeavor and hope the fire doesn't burn out. I don't think it will - I am, after all, just getting started and I'm a fire sign, that's gotta count for something! Off I go to suck it up and eat my proverbial vegetables. :)
I believe in obsession. I believe art couldn't exist without it. Or could anything for that matter. I believe in getting caught up. I believe in the messiness of life and distractions caused by things or people that catch our eyes. I believe in the institution of delusion. Without it we would be nowhere. Not one of us would have the courage, or stupidity to take the first step without it. I recently re-heard the phrase "God exists in us, as us." In all our obsessive delusional mess we are beautiful and can ride this chaotic wave into creating. And that is truly a grand thing.
As I connect with my artist friends and other artists in my community - like-minded or not - I am forced to define my own personal artist statement. Forced to define my own mission, to pigeon hole myself. At first the amount of commitment involved in this task was the cause of great anxiety, but speaking about my art to other artists has been greatly beneficial. It's allowed me to realize, over time, why I'm motivated to create the work I do. What exactly do they mean and where do I want my work to go?
This confirms the theory I am trying to embrace in my own neurotic, hermit ways - it is only through others that you can clearly see yourself. And not only in Art!
So as I continue to muddle through and search for myself through my people, I feel closer than ever before. I'm setting goals and moving forward in what feels like lightning speed after 40 years of near complete stagnation. It's in moments like these that I feel like I know something; and that is truly something! So off I go continuing to shuffle my way toward the light (lower case l).