Painting the last swipe on the canvas I’m exhausted. overtired. Eyes are dry from staring for so long, resisting blinking, absorbing the colors in front of me beyond the feeling of almost madness.
The large square canvas must cure overnight. I shirk off my robe and wash up. Looking down at my hands every finger tip on my right hand is a pale turquoise mixed with white. Brushes clean up easily, reshaped, they are left to dry.
Outside my eyes adjust and my mind enters the parking lot, I begin to see reality again. Looking at my hand holding the key….a splotch of bright red has dried on the back of the palm. A little paint is evident.
The paint colors and shapes in my brain is still there. Lingering. Stroking the nerves barely sheathed with the silence of the drive home. Walking in my home I’m greeted by dogs and my mom. Adjusting to normalcy is what I need. I hit my bed to let the flow of shapes run out of my ears. I rise and make dinner.
When I was a kid I drew. And painted. Everywhere. I am born to make things. Kinetic. Creator.
I never thought about where the objects I made would hang. Never cared if they sold. Those concepts never entered my mind. All my life I made art to make it—no choice–more like a compulsion. Last Thursday, I went to the NYC gallery where my painting is on display. Friends and family were with me and that made it more real for me that my work is hanging in NYC. I’ve heard others describe it as a dream they always wanted even from childhood. Odd that it never crossed my mind as being that important although I exhibited a few times in the 80’s because I was invited to do a small show.
Until a few years ago. I turned 49 and was on the upswing to 50 when I made a decision that I would exhibit again. I called it Aurora The Third Act. Aurora is goddess of the dawn and what a dawn this has been these 4 years. I am so pleased to be accepted into NAWA and have work in the annual exhibit. And pleased that I create work that brings pleasure to so many people. Although it can seem like it is about me, the artist, its not. Its about the viewer. You. Its about what you see and how you feel and where it leads you when you view the art I make. Together we make art an experience.
This photo is a picture of my tools and work in front of me. I work at a constant pace on paper and reserve my longer bits of time for larger paintings. The small work gets me through rough patches when time constraints are pushing me to and fro, or space is limited and I am on the go. Much like a knitter takes their work along, I take small paper drawings and pens. This work probably won’t end up in a gallery setting but I make it anyway. I use all my skills to create the best possible work at any given time or using any medium.
Lately, string is pulling me into hours of reverie, inventing images in my mind about what I might make with a crochet hook. I have a painting on an easel at home and one in the studio. Yet I don’t feel inspired to go to work on them. Summer was a series of trips and events that took me from home interspersed with the death of 4 people I know. Their passing has left me feeling very bereft and I think of them several times a day. I can’t see them again and have conversation or ask questions, smile with them, hold their hand. Mortality is rearing its head and I am interested in how that plays out in life and art. Life goes forward. So will the art.
Latest work – watercolor with bronze acrylic. I started the ink work this week in my spare time. This piece was painted several weeks ago at the height of summer and after a few cool nights I am preferring autumnal shades already. This has an oceanic almost caribbean tropical feel. I am super excited to be working on it and have some nice ideas for the piece.
Dawn spent this morning in the company of my kaleidescope, turning, spinning, shaking, dipping and tipping it catch the light fragments, hearing the small pieces inside flit-flutter like little laboring beetles tracking their footprints inside. A tiny pleasure while spent in moments of solitude before the daylight completely unfolds and the dogs expect to be greeted with a big heart.
No painting today, this is a day of errands until the afternoon or evening when I can zone into my process of drawing and painting, working a 22 x30 watercolor right now on the table. Ready to unveil it soon.
Originally published August of 2010, this is revisited February 2012.
The Artist. A Title. A venerable title that holds so much promise, yet is born out of deep pain or resonant joy, each work is a reflecting pool of a life, a time, a dwelling, a bond, a collaborator or partner. Ever The Artist. I have dragged The Title kicking and screaming all the way, sometimes losing sight of it, putting others needs before The Title’s needs. At times The Title gets complacent and waits, whirring and worrying, behind me shadow-like, and then feeling trapped it gnaws off a leg. And it lets me know every time that it is weary of being flouted and it gets angry. That is how The Title preserves itself. What if I die before It gets It’s work done? How dare I…so I step aside again and let it chew off a limb or kill a part of my life so we can get to work again.
The Artist has just killed again.
Recurring theme – surfaced again, I had to visit this again to find the essence of the work. Its always a bloody event, visceral and real, takes me down to a bare bones emptiness. Yet out of it comes something so clear and pristine that I gasp as I feel the new power surge through me.