Two days later I was moving my stuff into her space. It is a gorgeous space in the old State Theater building in downtown Portland. I moved a number of my surfaces, my studio table, my shoe boxes full of small projects, sketchbooks and artist books into the new space. There isn't enough room for my pile of found wood nor, perhaps, for my drill press or wood working table. I haven't crossed that bridge as of yet. That said, there has been plenty of room to make some new work and to escape from the emotional battle that is apartment hunting. My studio assistant put up a quick blog post about the spot here.
The new space has left me thinking about some new ideas, but mostly has provided me some privacy in my creative habit. Since I've been married my schedule is much more chaotic. There is a lot that needs to be organized and prioritized in a relationship that is quite often completely ignored when you are a bachelor. I've started reading a couple art theory books there. One is by German philosopher, Johann Gotlieb Fichte. He argues, essentially, that we only know our own perspective and that we cannot understand any others, because other perspectives are still filtered through our own perspective. While this is certainly an obvious thought, it is an obvious thought which I had not given much attention to recently. An old friend used to tell me when folks were making life difficult for him that their perceptions and opinions were "their story." I couldn't help but think of that concept while reading through Fichte's theories.
What this really meant from a creative stand point was that I felt more open to the work that I had in various stages of development in the studio. There are times when I feel like work that is a little older is actually work produced by an entirely different individual and to be sure, I don't think that this idea is far from the mark. I've heard that individuals live a different life every five years. I might have thought this a load of malarkey roughly 8 months ago, but am thoroughly confident at moments when I am sitting in a midwife's house watching my wife's blood be drawn and asking questions about hemoglobin levels etc., that life is completely different now than when I was 28 years old.
With this new ability to accept some of my old work as work done by another hand, I started to work in a sketchbook that my studio assistant brought to me the night of the last art walk in Portland. I filled at least ten pages of the book with new ideas, heads, characters in more elaborate scenes and lighthouses. Lighthouse paintings, for obvious reasons, have not been a source of terrible interest for me in the past, but for some reason it dawned on me that it would be interesting to manipulate some of the imagery that is most common in tourist pieces.
Lastly, I have been working on a small series of city scape slices. While I was looking out the window during a class I was teaching I began to draw the top of a building that I have always loved, and the sketchbook drawing later worked into this piece and two others very similar to it.
So, let me thank you for listening to my perspective. Please do enlighten me with yours. It would be good to hear from you.