Friday, July 22, 2011

Retirement? Rain? Refreshing the Spirit?

And, Who are you? the caterpillar asked of Alice.

I have been focusing, or rather not focusing on that question this last couple of weeks. I am no longer President of Moreno Valley Arts Council nor a member of the board. I have resolved to quit fairs but I am still an artist. Yes? A working artist? And what if yes am I working at?

When young I saw a western movie about a town in the midst of drought. I lived at the time in the high desert southwest so absence of rain was a regular common thing. But even to my rather young mind it seemed that more than rain was missing from the residents of this fictional town. It was as if their spirits were also drying up.

If you got lost in that quick change of subject - or seemingly switch of track - go back to the title.

With the openness in my schedule I found myself staring at the skies for any sign of the hoped for but definitely late monsoons. I waited for rain as I waited for inspiration. The drought was in my soul as well as in the land around me. And at the same time I tried not to rush to fill the void.

In that space I worked from time to time on catching up with all the abandoned things my hectic schedule had left behind, and took time out to share some windshield time with a friend. And then began two paintings on revisited subjects. Artists revisit because they don't think they have it totally right. And it was two thoughts I wanted cleared out of the corners of my mind. Not unlike decluttering the laundry alcove.

And yesterday while painting it began to rain. And it rained almost all day. The paintings, which I had intended to be dark, are bright. Ideas of what to paint next seem to be milling around in the back of my head as I ponder which paintings to take to the Old Pass Gallery Member's show. And I am pondering a photographic project. Me and my camera and 30 days in my wilderness. 

Being too busy for too long does create wastelands.

And poetry.
The key, I think, is to not rush to artificially fill the void. Wait for inspiration like we must wait for rain.

Oh, back to the caterpillar and Alice: We so often answer that question of Who We Are with what we do. Are we that?

1 comment:

  1. Good wise blog. There is so much going on in the deeper parts of the psyche when we think we are in drought. The combination of your artist's eye, a good camera and that stunning landscape should yield some great work. Looking forward to seeing parts of it.


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