Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving and Painting Still Lives at my Parents Kitchen Table

It seemed like a natural act. I pulled my travel paints out on my parents kitchen table one by one. Austin and Courtney lay asleep in my old bedroom. We had gotten to my folks house at about 8:30 Thanksgiving night. It was the first Courtney was able to come with me. I felt so grateful for her, the time she spends sewing for our family, the way that she carries my anxieties just as I carry hers. She had left a spool of Guterman thread out on the table and as I looked at it and the way that the lines and shapes crossed and crossed and the feeling of the shadow on that object it felt like it was indicative of everything. 

I settled down to a painting of the thread, fairly unaware of the metaphor but arrested by the power of that object. I couldn't help but think of the connection between my mother the knitter and crocheter and my wife creating dish rags next to me the night before. My home town and my parents house always brin me pause, not as much comfort as I feel at home but a few quiet moments to live without the need for motion. 

Later that day, my wife had left out her thimble and her shears and I felt compelled to start another piece. I felt the need to live the things that were her. 

Then last night as we were waitin to go to dinner I started one last piece of the scissors open. 

It is interesting to find these still lives all of a sudden. I feel like I am drawing in a way that I haven't in years and am learning what it is to actually be a painter instead I a pusher of ideas. I wonder too if my ideas are not more accessible by doing these still lives to begin. Time will tell. 

Everything is feeling groovy right now. I think in ready to finish a couple things that I've been dreading and I am pleased that that is finally the case. 


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Slowing Down

My wife a and I have been slowing down. After two years of chasing our tails we are starting to settle into what I can only assume will be our life going forward. To maintain the illusion that everything will calm down and we will catch up, feel less stressed, or find our pot of gold seems less an less plausible. However, the joys within that rushed an stressed schedule are becoming more intense. People talk about the ability to focus when you have that time to yourself, whatever the time may be. 

I've always found that I am more likely to find my peace through organization and through my work. I am not very good at organization, but it is a battle I like to fight. My work is always there, but what I've been realizing lately is that I haven't been using it as a tool for my own self medication quite enough. When producing at the right time I feel that I am able to steady myself. One of the big steps in steadying myself is to ignore the outside voices; the voices telling you about marketing, success, the way to make it. I feel more steadfastly than ever before, even with my marginal bit of success, that no one ever makes it purely by following other peoples paths. Even if you do follow someone else's path, success is only reached if you own that path and make it yours. I am not the people from Red Lemon Club, CreativeBoom  or Illustration Friday.  I am something else. I am me. You're you too. 

I have lived my life creating work for galleries. There has always been that voice telling me I need to create illustrations, because I went to school for it and I am fairly good at it when given a project. The white elephant that I have chosen to ignore for so long is this; I spend so much time working, creating art, drawing and painting, but I do not spend this time creating illustrations. It is not a matter of discipline and I don't want to feel guilty about it anymore. I simply want to follow a different path. I am a painter. That is the life I want to live and teach.  There is nothing to feel guilty about in that. 

I have been working more with my studio mates under the moniker, Freehand Armada. We have a small show of remixed still lives coming up. It has felt so good to focus on still lives. It has allowed me to enjoy my use of color and arrangement of shapes. It has helped me create that order out of the mathematical chaos that roger Allard talk about in The Blue Rider Journal. Here are a couple of my recent pieces. 

It's nice to find the things that are slow. Life will always be hectic if you let. Drama begets drama. I can't do it any more.  I have to she'd the things that don't work an embrace what does. 


PS Courtney, it's all for you.