Monday, October 11, 2010

worm holes

Wow! I just crawled out of a worm hole, or the rabbit hole. They have very similar landscape. So much has happened since I wrote last, my studies and practice are constant.

Today I delivered a commission piece, it was an emotion experience, and for one with virtually no water in my astrological sign, it always seems surprising to me that I am so filled with such deep stirrings.
The commission was a memorial portrait, my client's brother died and the memorial is Friday and this portrait will be at the service for viewing.

This has been a trans formative month and a half. I am hoping that soon I will have a chance to really take it all in.

It started with my art lab show. I learned so much from that experience. Bets Lundeen was the other painter and I enjoyed the Friday, Saturday and Sundays for the month of September painting with her. She was quite generous with her knowledge and companionship. It was a true privilege and honor to be at the art lab and to share such company. Initially I was paralyzed with fear and distracted with self doubt. I have to wonder if other artists have as active of a thought life as I do. My brain is always talking to me, giving me her opinion and it is not always good news. But I just kept showing up. I have to wonder did DaVinci, Michelangelo, Frida, Georgia, Picasso, did any of the masters fight this weary battle of self doubt and incrimination?

At the beginning of September I participated in the Art Steps program, Little Monets. That was amazing. What those little eyes see. I once heard that we are all born little Van Goughs and Monets but life makes us forget. Well they have not forgotten yet and the work produced was breathtaking.

On the heels of the art lab came a controversial show at the museum, followed by picketing, city council meetings and culminating in an act of violence toward art.

Yesterday, the clients brought to me a number of pictures of his brother, throughout different stages in his much too short life. They came to deliver the pictures and to see my other work. We talked for a while about his brother. I asked him to share his brother with me because it would make it easier for me to share him back.
There were stories about their past and present, jokes, expressions and personality, moods, phone conversations and mostly about the love they had for one another. It was touching. I was reunited with my own grief and loss and love.

I have discovered that most of life is about point of view. Whether rose colored, readers, bifocals or sunglasses, how we see things seems to rest with our point of view and for me that changes many times a day. Consequently, there are many times I find myself questioning my value, my contribution, my resolve, my abilities. It can be quite tiresome at times.

During the museum controversy there were some pretty sobering question about the value of art and I had to ask where do I fit into this community of masterful artists that have accomplished so much. What is success?

about a week ago I met with a young man who wanted to commission a copper repousse for his wife's anniversary gift. We met at the coffee tree and I explained what I do and showed him some of my work and we were able to strike a deal. He shared with me that he, his wife and their two children were out shopping and he took this most amazing picture of their shadows and the wanted that translated into a piece of art. He shared about himself in a refreshingly open way.

I started the composite portrait yesterday. While creating this work I was reminded how short and precious this life is and how much I still feel my own losses. I turned the focus dial up and started the work. I called them this morning and told them that the work was ready for them to take possession, then I got of the phone and called my grief counselor at hospice and made an appointment.

When they arrived I had the picture hanging on the wall. As they walked into my house I saw their eyes land upon the piece. I saw a recognition, a reuniting, tears. Which soon became contagious. It was a sorrowful and happy occasion. This picture, for them, brought him back in some small but rich way.

I have resolved to remember that I am an artist and to observe the special ways my Creator reminds me that I am a creator too.

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