Sunday, October 25, 2015

Cracking Open

I have made art from the time I could walk. I am not sure why I drew so much but it could be because I didnt have paint. I had pencils and paper. Mostly I drew horses. They were very exact and careful. My father gave me these plastic bird model kits. I don't know if they are still around but they were great. You put the plastic pieces together and then painted the bird. Wow. I loved those. There were also paint by number kits of course. Oh, and I also had these mosaic kits where you glue glass chips on a board to create an image. I spent every night watching TV with my parents and doing craft kits. My Father's store was next to a craft shop and to me that was better than having him next to a candy store. Homework wasnt important in my house so I got to "make art". I know, it wasnt exactly art but in my mind it was art. I have never been without "making" since then. The older I get the more grateful I am for that. I started my art career after college as a production potter and sculpted. I have done weaving, embroidery, printmaking, and painting in every medium. I still am a silversmith and love working with a torch. It is in my DNA. It isn't talent and I cringe when people say that I have talent. I see that I have just always chosen to make art. It is so much of who I am. Perhaps I was fortunate that I had a life that allowed me to do that. I chose not to have children and I think that decision was the trade off in my life.  I have no family and loneliness is a frequent visitor. But, the richness in my life lies deep in some inner place of all the making of all the objects and images. An astrologer once told me that my art was my spiritual practice.  When he said that I knew he was right.
As I struggled with painting last summer I knew that if I didnt do my practice I wouldn't make it. So my decision to just draw was a way to drop the struggle of needing to make "good paintings" that would go to a gallery and that people would like-- blah, blah, blah. It is such pressure and when you are barely able to deal with making your bed it is too much. I was getting to the point where I was tired of Me. I was tired of getting up each day feeling anxious and depressed and confused. It was turning into an old song that goes around and around in your head. This was the time. This was the place was a turning point.  I had to dive into someplace new. Struggle had become a way of life and it was time to stop. I made a commitment to spend the end of the summer, the fall and winter just drawing. Not only that, but I made a commitment to make no judgements, to sell no work and to use no color. Making no judgement was and is the most difficult. The first drawings I did were charcoal on newsprint. I made just lines. I felt nervous. There was nothing to hold onto, no image to create. I went forward from the little ink line drawings that I did everyday into larger work.

This was the first one. I am not sure what happened but it spoke to me. I liked it! I saw pieces of it that were familiar on some deep level. It felt like me and yet was apart from me as if it had its own life and energy. There were all these egg shapes and then I got it. The words that immediately came to my mind were " Cracking open". This drawing was the one that seeded all the work since then.

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