The new year finds me in a rich place. Both writing and painting passion-ate me! I’m surprised by how blogging motivates me to write, and of course to illustrate my words with my own artwork, painted or photographed, FINALLY manifesting my childhood dream of being an artist in the world. Umami!!!
It’s been a long detour to arrive at this focus of being.
Or maybe it’s not a detour at all but the journey of this one particular soul through this experience of living in this particular creative bodymind. Each day, each minute, adds to the texture of how I respond to life. My recent invitation to join a gallery named Front Street offers a great example.
A cooperative, the artists, who number close to 25, have been together for about five years I think. But they’re new to their current location, having moved from another town in March 2010. They seem exhilarated by their new digs and I’m ever so glad to have come on board at this time of blossoming for everyone.
To my delight – and challenge – they expected me to hang an exhibit one week after they accepted my application. Whoooops. That sent me scrambling to find my old artwork, not yet unwrapped and sorted since my move from Montana. They also encourage monthly exhibit changes and producing at least two new works a month. Occasionally they even have theme shows. February, for instance, is black and white with a touch of red. I’m off and running on that concept already, but more on that in another post.
I’ve been both focused and galvanized. Organizing my materials, kicking my granddaughters off my art table and out of my supplies ( I gave them their own “professional” artist’s kit for Christmas!), purchasing some new boards on which to continue my watercolor experiments begun in the Fall, inventorying, re-printing business cards, note cards and prints to account for the changes in my contact info and working focus, tending to myriad details, eeeeeegad, it’s been a swirl. I almost forgot the holidays and as you have noticed, I haven’t been blogging as frequently.
So I gathered together mostly old work – images I’d forgotten about – and made it to the wall on change-over day.
I notice immediately everyone’s helpfulness. Hammers and sticky stuff for hanging labels are hand delivered, in fact the labels are actually made FOR me by someone else. Now that’s professional, isn’t it??? There is an elegant uniformity about the displays that I appreciate – even the note cards are all displayed in the same rack. When something is hung off kilter, people with kindness point it out and offer to help rearrange. People notice when lighting is poor – not just on their own work – and adjust it!
I think I’m in love!!
So in the spirit of making two new pieces a month, for January’s change-over day on the 4th I managed to finish two originals and embellished a print in fanciful ways.
BUT the most exciting decision was to repaint an old image. This has been a wonderful testimonial to my development as an artist and the fact that there are no detours in life. Back in 1997 I watercolored three images all based on the same black and white photo lent to me by a friend of a great northern bear with a newly snagged salmon in its mouth . Two sold immediately. The third lingered in my stash. The frame had been nicked over time, so when I found it a few weeks ago, I immediately knew I’d take it all apart so I could refurbish the frame. Since the painting had never sold, I concluded the image must be off. I decided to apply my thirteen years of further experience and multi-media glamor to re-paint it. So many experiences have changed me in those years that I found the image wasn’t meant to represent a kodiak, or northern grizzly bear ‘midst glaciers and artic cold, but the rainforest and the spirit bear.
I love the metamorphosis and the endless possibilities when I give myself over to destroying one thing in order to create another, when I recognize there are no mistakes and no detours. Everything depends on everything else; trials, tribulations and failings are the bedrock of fulfillment.
Ahhh yes, I like that.