Something I wrote last night sparked some interesting thoughts in my head today. Last night I made reference to my half painted canvas, which upon a coat of paint, was fully clothed. I thought a lot about that today. Sexuality is a subject that makes many people uncomfortable, not me. (Just ask my horrified children.) To be human is to be a sexual being. To give birth is a sexual experience. When I look at that “virginal” white canvas that I started with yesterday I cannot help but think how much life it gains when paint is laid upon it. I give birth to my art. It becomes vibrant and alive. Think about it. How much great art has been produced through the ages due to love, to lust, or because of frustration? The human condition immortalized in paint, in charcoal, in photograph. The Mona Lisa’s smile, the lusty vivacious work of Georgia O’Keefe, even the loneliness of strangers in a diner in Hopper’s “Nighthawks”. The virginal blank surface that has yet to experience life, it is the artist who is tasked to recreate emotion through color and image. The connection between the work and the artist as a human is singular. As I thought about these things today I realized that my own hesitancy, my own cautious approach to laying the paint upon a surface as a young artist has been replaced with a love for richness, for texture, for color. All reflective of the life already lived. I was timid in my younger self, afraid to put too much paint on the surface, afraid of revealing too much of myself. There is a confidence in aging, a wisdom that the young artist can never have. Even the most skilled artist as a youth will find that the work will grow as the life experience grows as well. Love, heartbreak, loneliness, regret, laughter, joy; the list of emotion is endless, the effect on the artist is immeasurable. I need to respect my own process, my own growth and life experience, to leave more of myself on the canvas.
I finally set some time aside to make my art a priority, sort of. The truth is that Dan made me do it. We went out for breakfast for our daughter’s birthday. (Happy Birthday to my beautiful, talented, and oh so smart daughter!!) We did a little grocery shopping, and then I came home and began to clean. Dan stopped me. He told me there was nothing I was doing that he couldn’t do, that I should do my work. (Now you know why I love him so much!) I did at least have a plan. I began implementing some of it today, and beginning tomorrow we will be working on a schedule for me, for my stuff, and together for our business. We have an existing home office which happens to be across the hall for my studio. We will officially be setting up shop tomorrow. I think there are times when life isn’t going as expected when you sort of lose your way. You can get swallowed up by the events that you have no control over. I think we’ve been drowning in it. I think like many people we have been waiting for things to return to the way they should be. I know how smart my husband is, and I know how hard he works. It seems so obvious to me. I never thought he would be out of work for this long. I think we have been holding back on moving ahead with a lot of things because in some way it would be as if we were raising the proverbial white flag, giving up, admitting that things will never be the same. The truth is I don’t want things to remain the same. I want to move ahead to the future I know awaits us. Time is a wasting, and we need to focus.
I am really excited by ideas that I have to do with my grandfather clock project. I worked on several pieces tonight. They are currently in my oven. I won’t give away too much yet, but I think when it is finished it will be pretty cool. So for tonight an older piece. An altered art piece I made for Jessica’s birthday a few years ago. Altered art is difficult for me because there are no rules. I’m a rule girl. I don’t break the law, I don’t color outside the lines, at least I never used to, trying to get past that. I may have to add a little something to tomorrow’s list of what I need to accomplish.