Being an artist is so wonderful at times. It isn’t always but there are serene moments that take my breath away. I get caught up in what I should be doing to the point of losing the perspective of Doing anything. Today for example, I got so caught up in the chores of my craft; I felt forced. It hadn’t been a great day prior and this isn’t as productive a month as the last 2. To date, I have done 68 originals for the year. That is a lot, but July has been a paltry 9 of those so far. There have been some challenges this month and several took a bit of time to wrangle. It isn’t like I have been slacking or anything. I have made some huge strides too.
I recently raided a gallery I was in and pulled my work because what they had was so different in technical skill, it stood out. I went in and looked at my display, well it needed to be addressed to say the least. Those pieces are hanging around my studio and I will admit they are dragging my spirits down. I went into my creative space and decided I needed to do some cleaning to get my creative juices going. I started cleaning my pastels. They were so dirty; I couldn’t tell you the exact color of several.
To clean pastels, you can put them in a mildly abrasive dry medium and shake them. I chose cornmeal and started to go to town. How mind numbingly boring. It was tedious. It wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. Every time I tried to roll my chair around, I caught it on something…. My space is a horror. All of this is my fault. I did it. No one is going up there and stirring it with a stick while my back is turned. I wanted to cry. While cleaning, I knocked a small tray of pastels to the floor. That is bad, many are dust now. Then when I went to put away a framed painting, I knocked over several framed originals. Broken glass, bad words….. Time to step back.
I went for lunch and when I came back, I stood at the easel and started to paint. No more chores just create. I turned up the music, (Sorry Jodi if it was too loud) and put pastel to the surface. It was heaven. The image is just flowing from my hands.
I tell my students that it is the contrasts that help us see colors and shadow, light and dark. Perhaps that is what the struggle gives us, a true perspective on joy. Joy that comes from things working out. Those 2 hours I played on my surface; I was in a pure place. Everything was as it should be, and I was a happy camper. I’ll be back tomorrow; and for those few hours, it will be as close to perfect as life can get.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the Spokane Art School Artist-in-Residence, and not necessarily to the Spokane Art School.