Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Busy Blooming

"My partner's been pleasure, my partner's been pain."
--Stevie Nicks

I take my art very seriously. Heck, I take art in general very seriously. I probably take life itself too seriously. And in all this seriousness, it is easy to get bogged down, to forget that art is play as well as penetrating insights. Art is often about the shadows, and the sorrow of human existence, but it doesn't always have to be. Deciding to hold wonder and joy in our daily lives retains its own bravery, an act that makes its own ripples in the world.

An interesting exercise of self-exploration: review the art you have created over the years. What were you going through when you made this work, or that one? Did your emotional state fuel the work, or fight with it? What emotional state helps you best 'get out of your own way' and create at your optimum? I have made work after the end of a romantic love affair where tears were streaming down my cheeks as I painted--yes, this is a kind of energy. But I have also made sunny works like these, that resonate a very different inner state. If art truly represents life in all its facets, then there is a vast spectrum of expressions, and a place for it all.

This spring I can't seem to tear myself away from this project, even though I have other, more ponderous things on the easel. These are simple industrial tiles that you would put in a bathroom, that I am coating with layers and layers of paint, then sealing with thick varnish. I am making them specifically for a special seating spot in my garden. I want this outdoor space to bloom year round, and can't wait to see these brave flowers blazing even through winter snow. With each piece, I am reminded that sometimes art is an emotional and technical struggle, but sometimes it is okay to take a breather, to do things because they are fun.

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