The last two weeks have been a complete blur. I went home, came back to my last two weeks of class, worked extra hours at the deli, and finished work for a new show at Artstream Studios. I have trouble with weeks like this. It is tough for me to keep my head up and focused. It is something that I am just going to have to learn to do better, as the world grows faster and faster.
To counteract the feelings of anxiety and urgency that I have been tormented by, I've been reading the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson. His pacing and tendency to state the obvious are quite welcome friends currently. His essays read like a more pedantic version of a Zen volume, but I enjoy him nonetheless. He is like that talkative uncle that reads too much. Thus far my favorite quote goes as such: "You
shall not tell me by languages and titles a catalogue of the volumes
you've read. You shall make me feel what periods you've lived." I suppose that this is merely a statement experiencing the moment. As I was talking to a friend last night she twisted it into a statement of phenomonology, which is one of those fake art terms stressing the sublime and the feeling of an experience that teeters on the brink of explanation. I don't think that that is what it was about, however. I think that the statement had more to do with reading with a focus that allows you to become a part of whatever history you are reading about, to think about the consequences of people's actions like they were your own, to use the acts of others as points of reasoning within your own life, to be more mindful of the texts you read and things you see.
I have trouble with this. I am usually quite aware of the things going on around me, but have trouble with words on a screen or page and also with the words that are coming out of people's mouths. I find it hard to keep up. I always start to think about different things, or rather, I am usually already thinking about those things and when people give me a hook I end up diving straight in. And so I've been attempting to be more mindful and forcing myself to read more. I think it is adding layers to my thought and as a result it is adding layers to my work.
When I was asked to do a few piece for the Tenth Anniversary show at Artstream Studios and Gallery, I immediately assumed that the gallery directors wanted more of the same type of work that I had submitted in the fall, as it had done pretty well in sales. I struggled with this idea in my head for two months and naturally ended up with a couple days left to produce my artwork. I realized that I wasn't capable of making those pieces again. There has been a shift in my thought, a desire to live life more seriously than I had in the past, to be a bit more conservative and not to make kids work for the rest of my life. I had been adding layers to pieces that weren't working in a different series and that was turning out quite successful, so I determined that I would use the same method with these four pieces. Here are the completed pieces for Arstream.
I hope everybody out there is doing okay. My heart goes out to you every day. It is tough to live even when there are no extra obstacles to navigate. The only thing that I can suggest is to love the people around you like they are the greatest thing since fire was discovered, because they are.