Archives for posts with tag: art and the artist

I’m “taking a media break” from news feeds, streaming contact, social media – pretty much most of the digital distractions available have been paused, logged off, or shut down for the weekend. I suck at this, so it is a constant effort to be vigilant about the potential time and bandwidth drains, and to choose wisely – and consistently. This? This right here is part of who I am. If I were not writing this blog post, I would be perched on a sofa, chair, or rock somewhere, with a hardbound blank book in my lap, still writing. Probably about the same number of words. This is a thing I do – and have done so since I was quite young (12?13?).  No point, really, in trying to halt the flow of words, entirely; it would be an endeavor with (historically) limited success. 😉 Gnothi seauton.

Today I’m spending the day (and likely the weekend) in my studio. Painting. Sorting through years of stacked canvases to select inventory for sale. Giving thought, too, to the installation at the gallery where I am presently showing my work. I could rotate something out, put up something different… or… not. 🙂 I could paint all day, instead.

In the studio, I’ve got a couple larger, time-consuming works that I am working on slowly, with care, but today “feels like” new work…

I sometimes find it tougher to get started on new work than I expect to. I have an idea in my head of where the work should finish, what I want to see, but the “point A to point B” of that journey rarely seems to straightforward. Do I begin with a finished background, already painted? Will I “ruin it”? (Which really only amounts to painting something different than I’d planned on – which happens a lot. 🙂 ) Truth is, like any beginning on any journey that seems to have a fixed destination, but an uncertain route, getting started sometimes feels… hard. So, I put a fresh canvas on my easel, much the same way I’d write an observational first sentence when I’m unsure what to write, and grab a big brush, a tube of glow in the dark, and a bunch of glitter. “My first sentence” on this weekend’s journey isn’t written in words – it’s done on canvas, in glow-in-the-dark and glitter. 🙂 Just a bit of fun, loosely inspired by summer mornings, and fireworks shows, and a chill, happy place within myself that is purely okay with who I am. It’s an excellent beginning, lacking in performance pressure, crafted of coffee, birdsong, and personal delight.

…a beginning has to start somewhere… (an unfinished work of glitter and glow, begins the day).

What makes your day – or your life – “sparkle” for you? What do you yearn to make, build, or do? What do you resent your job over, that you wish you “had more time for”? I get it… we’ve got to get out there in the world and hustle, make some motherfucking money, pay the bills, “get ahead”… but… what about what matters most? What about your passion? What about that spark in your soul? Write a novel? Poetry? Paint? Sketch? Sculpt? Craft? Build? Create? Restore? Grow? What excites you about life? Who are you when you are not at work? There’s time for that, too – there has to be, otherwise, what’s the point of living? The thing is – sometimes we have to set a firm boundary, snatch our time back from those who would have it in service of their agenda, instead of our own. Don’t forget that person in the mirror – you matter. Take care of you. Live some tiny fragment of even your boldest dreams!

“All that glitters” is most definitely not gold – some of it? Some of it is actually, literally, “just” glitter… but glitter has its place, too.  (My Traveling Partner calls it faerie scabies, and some days its “place” does seem to be… everywhere. lol) 🙂

Enjoy life’s sparkle!

Start somewhere. Begin again. 🙂

 

 

My head is still buzzing with the distracting excitement of the show last night. My tinnitus reminding me there is value in ear plugs. My hallway is short two paintings that recently hung there, now hanging somewhere else. My “art closet”, filled with work carefully stacked by size, is one painting less full today. I am groggy. I am too much awake to sleep more, though I need more sleep. My eyes feel like they are covered in sand paper, and my iced coffee does nothing to quench my thirst (how the hell am I so damned thirsty?). I have a drive ahead of me – hours down the highway, on a weekend likely to be “a long holiday weekend” for about half the long-holiday-weekenders out there taking time off for 4th of July travels.

Between the lake and the sky, there is a distant horizon, whether I can clearly see it or not. “Lake & Sky; Infinitely Blue” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas w/glow.

Begin again? Right now I can barely just continue. lol The headache developing could be dehydration… or lack of coffee… or fatigue… or… well… I’m a fucking mammal. A being of light wrapped in a meat puppet that I think I control. lol Who the fuck knows what all the potential missteps and annoyances may actually be? There are probably a lot of possibilities I wouldn’t even know to consider. S’ok. One thing, then another. I shower. Do some yoga. Water my garden. Drink water. Drink coffee. Meditate. Post about the art show (hey, it’s the 21st century, this is a routine form of communication now). Pull myself together a bit at a time, giggling every time I pause to consider that a great many of the Friday night Party People who attended the art show – or the after party – are just finally wrapping things up and going to bed. I’m glad I got a couple hours of sleep.

Here comes the day. It’s the weekend. I’m eager to see my Traveling Partner. Eager to enjoy the day, building on this lovely moment, right here. My heart feels light in spite of the world being rather irksome. It’s something to savor, to build on, and to enjoy. It’s not just okay to feel good in dark times – it’s really rather necessary. Without the good times, emotional fatigue can set in, and then what? We’re no good to each other if we are not able to feel what is good and pleasant and right in our moment, in our day – in our world. So. Today seems a lovely one to take a breath, and enjoy this bit, while this enjoyable bit lasts.

…Then later, I’ll begin again. 😉

I woke in pain this morning. Ah, but, I am also undeniably well-rested. That’s something. I scrolled through my feed too early, not quite awake, and fucking hell, the news is not very pleasant. On the other hand, there’s also quite a lot of hopeful news, and, historically, a lot of forward momentum, too. So… I guess that’s something to hold onto. Back and forth – finding “balance” is its own challenge. Like a pendulum or a see-saw, my experience, mood, perspective, and general sense of both wellness and self, shift, swing, adjust, wobble… It’s kinda crazy up in here. You, too?

Where is your fulcrum? What do you pivot on? What supports that search for balance, and soothes your stress? For me, it’s “now”. Just that, and it’s pretty basic, uncomplicated stuff. I come back to this present quiet moment, right here. If “now” is also really super shitty (and not the national or global heart-wrenching what-the-fuck-is-going-on “now”, we’re talking about our personal right here, this instant, “now”) I may need to walk on, get some distance, and work from some other slightly future “now”, when I get to it – more often than not I simply need to let go my attachment to something or other I’ve begun to cling to emotionally, and be truly present, myself, in this “now” right specifically here where I am, myself.

A flower. A moment. There is effort in tending my garden with care.

I woke in pain. Yeah, that sucks. Could be worse pain than it is. That’s something. Perspective is a big deal. I don’t focus on other moments of worse pain, though, that’s sort of backwards, as it happens. I sit gently with my thoughts, contemplating entirely other things than pain, at all. There’s the art show tomorrow night. That’s a thing. I’m excited about it. I consider the work I’ve selected, and what all I may need for the evening, generally, and the pain slips from my consideration for a time. I share a moment of conversation with a far away friend over my coffee. I water the container garden on the deck in the lavender light of dawn, before the summer sunrise. Perspective helps me find balance.

Carefully selected work waiting to be seen.

I sip my coffee, already past that irksome moment when I observed I’d yet again allowed myself to run out of “easy options”. I smirked at myself, leaning on the counter for support, hurting, painfully aware (literally) that the state of things is entirely my own doing, for me to manage. There’s plenty to make coffee with; it all requires effort. Effort, I point out to the woman in the mirror, is not a swear word, and is, in fact, a goal. Making more of it results in greater emotional and physical wellness, and connects me more fully to the things that matter to me most. There are verbs involved, and don’t I know it! I pull myself upright with a sigh, and make a pour over. My coffee is very good this morning. Better than convenient. Better than easy. Made with love. There’s a lesson in here somewhere.

Back and forth with myself all morning. Finding balance. Using perspective. Making an effort. Practicing practices. I smile and sip my coffee.

…Then sneeze, spilling coffee in my lap, and rather hilariously also sneezing it all over my keyboard. Damn it. Already time to begin again. 😉

I’m sipping my coffee and feeling a bit as if I must be “running late”. The sky is already so light. I am pre-occupied, this morning, and this contributes to my sense of “running behind” on things, generally. Realizing that, and noticing my headspace is filled with moments that are not now, I take a deep breath, then another, and pull myself gently back into this present moment.

Alternate lighting, another perspective on “Uplifted Hearts”, and on love.

There’s time yet to plan. 🙂 I’ve been invited to participate in an upcoming art show… there’s work to be done, but it can wait until the end of the work day. There’s an order of operations even to life itself. Each moment and task has its time. The weekend suddenly feels “busy”. I chuckle quietly to myself; the weekend isn’t even here yet.

“Some Distant Sunrise” 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas w/glow 2014

I spent a quiet evening on housekeeping, and fiddling with my camera gear, thinking over which paintings… A art show in an environment specifically designed to showcase UV reactive and glow-art is uncommon – or has been, for me. How do I best showcase my work? I smile so hard my face hurts. It’s a nice problem to have.

“Summer Lamb’s Ear” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas w/glow.

Sometimes a change in perspective matters more than we can know before we get there. “Summer Lamb’s Ear” photographed in darkness.

…And it’s a whole new beginning. 🙂 I think I’m ready. Grab a verb! It’s time to change the world.

I crashed early yesterday. I was tired, and also, sleepy. I figured it had to do with the combination of being sick recently, and also waking up before 3:00 a.m. I went to bed and thought nothing more of it, expecting to be awake very early. At almost precisely 8:00 a.m. this morning (about 12 hours later), I finally woke. It’s rare for me to sleep so deeply, so restfully, for so long.

I still haven’t made coffee. I’m so recently awake that I’m not quite awake enough to care to deal with that more complicated task. Writing is easy, and I’d left the computer logged in over night (fuck, how tired was I??). I am hoping that by sitting down to write, I can more easily prevent myself from randomly going off on some unscripted adventure – the result of not being awake, with car keys in my hand. (My driving and such are just fine before I’m fully awake; my decision-making, generally, is far less so – see “haven’t made coffee” as an example.)

I have the notion to drive to the coast. (I have other things I want, and have planned, to do.) It’s not very far. (It’s a bit more than 2 hours from here). It’s not that I have a plan or intent, or real something-or-other in mind that I’d like to do so see… (So, it’s not a legitimate desire to go there for some purpose, is what I’m saying.) I think I’d just like to have my morning coffee by the sea. (And it is a very bad idea for me to wait another two hours to have my god damned coffee! LOL) This? This right here? It’s a bit of my TBI in action; lack of impulse control. (As with many of the things associated with either my TBI and my c-PTSD, there are similar sorts of things that everyone may go through from time to time, though usually the magnitude of the challenge is quite different, and they are occasional experiences versus characteristics of every day life.)

Lack of impulse control used to run my life. It no longer does – at least, not full-time. It would be, probably, harmless for me to take the day, go the coast, come home in the evening – hell, it might be a lovely spring adventure, indeed, although I haven’t budgeted for it, or accounted for that use of my time in my planning for the week. I like a nice trip to the coast. It’s just not what I had planned, and amounts to undermining both my self-care, and my ability to get shit done that I would not want to be having to deal with immediately prior to heading down for a long weekend with my Traveling Partner, next weekend. So. No. Just “no”.

It’s bitter-sweet to tell myself “no”. Pretty much always. I’m both really good at it, and have done so many times to my detriment, building a sense of unworthiness and self-directed privation over time while others benefit from my nurturing and generosity, and I also suck at it completely, capitulating to whims that have cost me dearly with no legitimate benefit. Also a bunch of stuff in between. I practice hitting a sweet spot with my self-care, and personal decision-making about my life, that results in feeling supported (by my choices), nurtured (by being able to enjoy who I am), able to grow (through novelty and adventure), able to get to my goals for future me (by being discerning about what I allow from myself, and making skillful use of my resources)… you know, all the adulting things and stuff. It’s a lot of fucking practice. This morning, I admit, I cheated a bit by dropping my ass in a chair, fingers over a keyboard, eyes on a monitor; I likely won’t redirect my attention until I have finished writing. Which means I have bought myself the time required to fully wake up (meaning all cognitive functions are “on”), and do the best adulting I am able to do for myself. 🙂

…I am now awake enough that coffee is most assuredly my priority. I way overslept when I usually have my first cup, and the resulting headache would be only an hour or two away, unless I make some fucking coffee pretty soon… What stopped me earlier? I feel puzzled about it now, but at the time it seemed so much more work than I wanted to do, and throwing on pants and sandals and driving up the road for a cup of coffee definitely seemed easier (isn’t, in fact, any easier at all). If I’d done that, I may or may not have actually stopped for coffee, and would almost certainly be on the road to… somewhere… by now! No telling what the impact would be to my time – or my budget.

Coffee now? That seems the thing. I’ll be right back… Here’s a great bass line while you wait…

…Aaand, I’m back. With coffee. I rediscover that the quality of coffee that generally results from effortless (or near effortless) coffee is reliably less good than coffee I really put my attention toward, with great care. LOL This cup? Drinkable… at best. That’s not going to stop me from drinking it; at this point, it’s medicinal. Funny/not funny. I’ll make a better cup later. When I’m more awake.

Mmmm… yeah. Coffee was definitely a better choice over driving to the coast before I was awake. LOL Here I am, lovely morning ahead of me, work laid out in the studio, most of the housework already handled… I don’t actually want to go anywhere. Not really. This is where I want to be; in the studio, enjoying a chill Sunday, painting – I’ve been looking forward to it all week. 🙂 I found learning to discern between “things I actually want to do, no really” and “momentary whims driven by impulse that seem briefly very interesting” actually a rather difficult process. I still have to really work at it. It’s so easy to react. It’s so easy for impulse to take over. People seem, at least in my social network, personally, to place higher value on spontaneity than on planning, and to be far more interested in tales of whimsy and adventure than of plan, structure, and practice. Our attention spans have grown short with our increased use of devices. It is so easy to shirk the details of what must get done in pursuit of something shiny, and unexpectedly entertaining. The burden of deciding what I value, myself, is on me, though. The choice is my own. The verbs, too, are mine to labor over. The reasons have to be my own, as well, otherwise the will to stay the course is easily sacrificed in a moment of chaos, or whimsy. We become what we practice.

This morning I’ll be practicing the practices of a working artist, following a plan, and living the life I choose, quite willfully. If you need me, I’ll be in my studio…

It’s time to begin again.