Maple syrup sweetness and gut punch bitterness.

One month (and a bit) into this grand experiment of making-one’s-way-through-life-via-art and I feel great, and horrible. Maple syrup sweetness and gut punch bitterness. Crappy pieces of mail and wonderful friends. Not that these are sides of coins, or that I believe life is as simple as binary examples would imply. I just know that I am happy with my choices, and I dislike some of the side effects.

I’m in the middle of it, and I don’t know exactly where it is going.

Last year I gave myself various constraints.  Little boundaries which were designed to challenge and inspire me.  I began to increasingly mine my life and use my talents to create.  I had the time and space to do it.  It is a joy to dig down into me or into something (or both, please both) then rise out of that space with art.

Make something, which communicates something, to someone.

Those boundaries which provided a path and gave me comfort, have started to feel like they need to expand a little. Or possibly be erased, removed entirely. This safety net was important and valuable. The thing is, what felt like safety has started to feel like a thing I want to explore beyond.

Beyond.  I like that word.  I’m eager to be at the furthest side of, to be beyond.

I’m rambling now. I know, that is because I started writing this weeks ago. Depression and a few blizzards have taken not a small amount of my time lately. I still feel some of the bitter and the sweetness from before. However I’m now a little further beyond that point and can breath with some ease. Time and plans make for wonderful helpers. Once again grateful for friends, community.

This feels like a lesson, I could be taking notes.

My challenge right now is to make a routine that fits the life I want, and also affords me the financial security to feel abundance and to be generous. I’m having to learn (and unlearn) so much to make the life I want. Never was I taught to advocate for myself, advocate for my art. 

This is worthwhile. This is valuable and important work. It’s what I want to be doing right now.

This is the problem with obstructed views

When I go for a walk and happen to go past your place 

occasionally I will look over towards where I imagine you to be.

It’s a habit I haven’t quite broken yet.

On a wintery evening you were at my place in

an attempt to reforge our relationship. 

After an ending that tore so much apart, 

this was a starting over that already felt like heartbreak.

A request for my password caught me off guard.

I couldn’t remember it fast enough. 

The pause making it seem like I didn’t want you to have it 

and perceptions are what they are

on both sides, this is a thing 

I think of when walking by.

You might never think of that.

Or about the half hearted attempts, that

accompanied half hearted smiles, we made

after that night to keep trying, so we eventually stopped.

Because sometimes growing apart is just

a part of relationships, and growth is 

having the heart to acknowledge that.

Each time I stop from looking over at your place when I walk by

the frequency, or infrequency, will start to reflect 

the level of can’t in our relationship.

And I will not wonder if, when you walk past my place 

do you look where you imagine me to be,

out of habit not yet broken.

Perspective

Throughout the summer of 2020 I worked on a series of paintings called 1.5 Million Balloons.  I had thought about these paintings for a couple years and decided to stop thinking and start painting, thanks pandemic!  They started out as an exercise, an attempt, something just for me.

As I shared them on social media, just little updates and behind the scenes of my process, people responded.  That response was so positive and encouraging that I kept going.  The pandemic wasn’t letting up, so I figured neither would I.

This isn’t about those paintings.  This is about the paintings that came after those.  I’m going nonlinear today.

I called the series Perspective.  Three paintings, one iris and two tulips. 

Mitch commissioned the paintings, wondering if I would be interested in doing flowers.  That was an easy question to answer, I was excited to see what flowers he’d send over.  It ended up that the photos sent were of a beautiful spring garden.  That garden belonged to a family member that had recently passed.  A circle of love opened up and I was so grateful to have been asked to stop into it.

I found the irises and tulips so outstanding and vibrant, I wanted to capture them in their vernal glory.  So of course I put a bunch of pressure on myself and stymied the flow I had going.  Once I kicked the imposter syndrome episode to the curb I kicked it with the paintings hard and heavy.  I got the flow back and finished three paintings I absolutely love!  (This paragraph describes about 3 months, struggles are real and take time.  It’s hard to capture that in a few sentences.  Everyone’s time frame is different.)

I was eager and nervous to let go of them.  It’s easy to think something is one thing in the safety of your studio, and quite different when you release them to the world.  Mitch was so happy.  And I was happy to learn the lessons I learned, old and new, while these paintings were mine.

I’m very happy I can offer prints of these paintings.  You can find prints of them and other items in my shop.

While painting the word perspective kept floating through my mind.  The macro O’Keffee-esque quality of a few of the photos was what drew me to them at first.  How direct down, in the flower’s face, the camera must have been.  And how that might have been how the gardner perceived the blooms. 

Did the blooms perceive the gardner, looking up with eager hope?  Does the observer perceive how all are intertwined and rely on the other. Yet there is no other.