I’m on a mission. Sometimes it seems dang near impossible, but so be it. I want the world to see art differently. I wrote about it last month, and am adding to it here. Another layer. Going deeper into the creative life and process, via my own. Excuse me if it sounds self-absorbed. It is. It’s a necessary place to start from and move forward and find common ground. May Sarton sums it up best for me:
“One must believe that private dilemmas are, if deeply examined, universal, and so, if expressed, have a human value beyond the private. I am willing to give myself away and take the consequences, whatever they are.”
Those that know my work are familiar with the fact that I work indirectly, in layers. As I’ve talked about previously, I worked on 3 pieces of the same person, all started with a purple toned ground. It was an experiment of sorts, to see if I could overcome my neurotic ways with commissions. The stress, the obsessive thoughts revolving around likeness and pleasing people. I have a lot of insecurities folks. I hope you know that. I’m old enough to finally admit to them too. I really wanted to walk my talk about ‘transcending likeness’, to see if what I discovered going way deep into that unknown ‘I-don’t-know-if-this-will-work’ space will uncover something new. It did. I found I still have a lot to learn. About trust.
The good news is, I walked through those doubts and let them exist right alongside my confidence in what I could do. And just like that, those thoughts came and went. It was exhausting. Add to that an average 4 days of intense yoga practice every week to make it even more interesting. Going within is an understatement.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the future of my work, its material success out in the world. Can I make things that matter to people, even just a little bit? Will it matter enough for them to purchase it? Will that work be relevant decades from now, or will it be sitting in a thrift shop somewhere waiting for a couch to match it? It can defeat me if I let it, these worries. Like a virus entering in and causing harm to our physical selves, doubts can easily cause permanent damage to who we are at our core. It we allow them to run amuck.
Then it hit me that I need those doubts. In small controlled doses.
How else do I learn to grow as a person? A person with heaviness that makes it worth that weight? As an artist who wants to offer more than what an image can portray? I have stuff. I think too much. My head gets LOUD. The wonderment, the quiet, the questions, the dramas. The light. All of that gets mixed up and shown along with the beautifully complex people I get to paint for a living. When we meet, I look for that binding thread in their eyes. Then I run with it, and allow it to grow into something else on the canvas. Bigger, more substantial, yet oddly lighter than what it seems. More than I ever could have planned or expected to happen. Transferring Weight. Allowing all those layers if not seen, than for sure, felt. I’ve used ‘felt’ a lot around here. It’s part of my mission. Go deep. Make friends with the shadows.
Layers. They are getting peeled back, covered up and reinvented. As much as I talk and whine and soapbox about it, there is no going back. It’s worth its weight in gold.