Sunday, June 20, 2010

Come Fly With Me

Miss me yet? I’ve been so busy that I have neglected my postings. To answer the question, yes W, I do, as gravitas has its merits but this post has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with what is “missing” and that when “found”, what a difference “it” makes. We all have different “its” hence the multitude of support groups and such out there intended to put “it” back into our lives and make us whole again, or at least functioning on a productive level.

Before I go on however, I must mention the Dorothy Shinn review in today’s Beacon Journal regarding the Figuratively Speaking show at Summit Artspace. Please come see the work of Lynn Digby and Marti Jones Dixon to realize that figurative arts are still alive and well and well done. I must mention too that Tom W is right; we need our own art reviewer here in Stark who publishes in a real newsprint format for all to see.

Okay, back to the issue at hand. This past week has revealed to me what “it” is that has been missing from my own creative process and that is the interaction with others my own age. As children, we hung out in little pockets of friend (before friends became something carried in our pocket). As young parents, we went to lessons and meetings and games, sitting dutifully on uncomfortable chairs or bleachers, passing the time with other parents. As parents of teens, we hurry up our day in order to be home when the car pulls in or sit up late until the last car pulls out, not quite interacting with anyone but God making sure He is on guard duty as well. As artists, our work ebbs and flows to fit into the eddies of life, sometimes gushing like rapids during moments of “freedom” and other times becoming a stagnant pool when time is not ours. Lately, I have found myself on a steady stream to nowhere until the offsite studio situation arose. At first, it was just a lifeline to draw me someplace else. Now that I am onboard, I realize that it was more than that; it is cruise ship of unlimited possibilities.

A couple of highlights from this past week will explain just what I mean. I can finally write about this because my hands, arms and shoulders no longer hurt quite so bad and typing was out of the question. Envisioning my long sought after black and white floor, I had to remove the existing carpet from the studio space, all 150 square feet of it or so. Tom Sawyer had a great gig going with that white fence of his; unfortunately I don’t think anybody else read the book so I did all the work myself. I did not mind however because lots of fellow artists stopped by to chat and check on my progress. Some would gather at the table just outside my space and pass some time. Why is this such a momentous thing to me? Because it felt like a big, weird, funk y family, something I never had. Insert the standard joke that my extended family (no branches, just a few twigs), puts the “fun” in dysfunctional, so people caring about each other is rather foreign to me, especially anybody caring at all about what I do, so just to offer a few words of encouragement is disconcerting and something I look forward to happily learning to deal with. (FYI comment does not apply to immediate family and one generation to my north, we tend to cling like zebra mussels to our own tiny dinghy floating on a sea of insanity).

The second event was just yesterday. I was asked to do a workshop on pastels. Sure, scare the *%&#%@ out of me to put me in front of a large number of fellow artists and ask me to talk/demo/teach about something I have only been doing for 9 months. But I dutifully tied on my smock, loaded up the laundry baskets, and reached back inside to find my inner (recertified finally) teacher. It was a blast for sure, but I could have done a lot better. I wish I had done better and subsequently spent a couple of glasses of wine playing the 20/20 hindsight game. But my point is that I was face to face with my fellow middle aged (except you Laurie) artists and it felt good. We had fun and I may have learned more from them than they did from me primarily that I miss the classroom and I miss helping others see the magical moments in front of them when it happens. I have been missing that next stage of bleacher seating.

So this is “it” for me….no, I am NOT going to quit blogging. What I mean is that I have to leave the nest too. If momma bird sits around on the nest waiting for another round of eggs to appear, she is going to be one cranky old hen (not to mention a miracle of modern science if one did show up). If everybody else gets to take off and fly well then look out because I got me a set of wings too (although still rather sore because that glue was really hard to scrape off). Granted, I still got one eaglet who roosts here at night, but he’s got his wings and knows how to use the washer so if momma is stuck on a layover, he can care for the place just fine. As of now, I am cleared for take-off. I don’t know where I am going or what I will find along the way, but I am really looking forward to the adventure!

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