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May 27, 2014

Aha.

Holiday  weekend insights. 

#1. I'm at a place in my life where I keep thinking I need something else, maybe another mentor. Someone who's older, wiser, and more experienced. That's not the insight. That was the problem. The insight was realizing that I was thinking someone else would know the right answers, the next thing to do. Not so. Problem solved. Intuition rules. I miss my mom. Sometimes it seemed like every conversation ended with her laughing about how intuitive she was. It used to irk me, but it was true. Her perceptions were spot-on and I've got a high batting average myself.  It was 4 years this weekend. I placed a small potted flowering plant on her grave.  Cut flowers seemed wasteful and I thought maybe one of the groundskeepers might recycle it. 

#2. I was at the Frist looking at the Goyas. I've seen several of them before. I can't remember where- The Hammer, LACMA? Meanwhile I've read a couple of articles extolling the virtues of Nashville as an affordable city for artists, and how artists living here don't need to work so many jobs to make art. Obviously I live in Nashville's evil doppelgänger, and it's true, maybe if I lived off the grid or didn't need to buy Washington cherries every time this year, I could live more comfortably, but  insight: I realized what a privilege it's been to have seen a slew of Goyas in person, on more than one occasion, and it hit me that maybe scraping by in a city in order to simply make art might not be an appropriate fit for everyone. Long-term cultural immersion has been vital for me. I also recalled reading an article about city living being more stimulating than country living. All this while standing in front of a Goya. 

#3. I've been obsessing for almost a month now about something that is critical to my ability to keep going this summer, yet out of my hands. My part is done, but it's tough to wait it out and it's not so great for morale. Insight: On the bright side, it's just one little part of a bigger picture. Not the whole picture. Perspective is sometimes hard to achieve in a closed loop environment. 

I saddled up to my easel and made a small painting yesterday. Today I built a stretcher from leftover cuts of lumber and questioned how cost effective it really is to do my own labor. But for the most part, I still like building my own and the slightly odd sizes, which is usually the tipping point for why I continue to do so. I had wanted to complete two more large paintings, but bank hasn't come in yet, so I'l be scaling down and breaking into my paper stash until things even up. I saw Steve Mumford's War Journals— ink and watercolors, executed for the most part on sketch paper, some with the spiral edges in tact— at the Frist today. It may sound strange to call documents of war uplifting, but I mean this in the sense that they were able to convey something a photograph couldn't do. If you've ever spent any time observing and drawing something, it's there. The show ends June 6. Powerful stuff on a few levels. 

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