Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Life of an Artist

The life of an artist is a very strange thing. We travel through the minds pathways into the emotions, and back again. Our images are born somewhere in the ethers, and we translate messages that even we do not know the meanings of . True art, at times is so painful to produce. We risk so much in the bridging of consciousness to bring up our ideas. I wonder if that is why we need the down time. The marination period. To regroup. To rest. Until the friction gets too much, and we need to create again.

I'm in such a period. Its fascinating when I ponder it from afar. And it makes me cry when I get too close. As if the old shapes are flat and lifeless. A dream that has lost its meaning. I know a new medium is burgeoning. I can see the work .... almost. If I try to hard, it disappears. It is similar to when I have psychic blasts. I can sense what will happen, as if in the distance, but not quite see it. And yet though it has no sense of time it has presence, and shape, more than shape, it has a smell of its own. I turn my head, and try to view it from my peripheral vision. It smells like seaweed. Not ripe not rancid, alive and unformed. Ah, my love of the sea. My latest paintings, before I gave up the Chelsea studio were of the inner sea, the primordial soup.

I have spent a good part of the last two years teaching and mentoring others. We reach a place in our careers when paying if forward is a calling unto itself. Driven to listen, with an open heart, be present and share from lifetimes of experience. But not creating. Not yet. Showing, selling, but not creating. I find it torturous this weekend, no room of my own anymore.

Late afternoon yesterday, E and I sat on the two person swing in the backyard. Barbecuing family fun. Watching the smoke rise from the red lid, waiting for the ribs and the fish to finish. He put his arm around me and joked that I had become like everyone else. The Bohemian artist mother he knew now worked for a College, and went in 9-5. And I started to cry. I feel lost without my images. My studio.

He felt badly, and hugged me - how ridiculous the mother crying on the shoulder of her just about adult son. And yet, it was beautiful. E reminding me that he was taught by one his favorite teachers in High School, Mr. Roper, that ideally we all reach the highpoint of our lives when we can teach others from our own experiences. That's where you are Mom. "You're still an artist Mom", he reassured me. You can paint out here, the wild backyard is your domain.

The life of an artist. I sit on the swing. The yard is huge, half of it a jungle of wild life. It is beautiful and peaceful. Perhaps I'll start to sculpt again, out here. Or paint. Or work digitally. I don't really know - until I know. Until the friction calls my name, and the seaweed wraps its wings around my heart and floats. Lifting me above myself.

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