Friday, September 17, 2010

Sometimes Backwards Doesn't Work

Breaking into pattern, destroying the flow, jumping the groove can disturb one's life in subtle ways.  I was rolling along, really into painting gardens, botanical themes just pouring out of me, blooming like they were July in a Friday Harbor meadow, loose and buzzing with movement, life, sun, process of beginning with texture and color birthing visions of poppies, iris, fields of wild grasses working like second skin, third eye, fingers like dancers, quick, weightless, singing memories.  Then, stepping off the ride, off to do a show - mode reversal to the max - out of my subconscious and into the now of connecting with audience - and by that "now" I am not talking about the Now of Now - the zen flash that comes with touching someone's heart or mind with the painting they are gazing at - that grace filled speechless slow-motion conversation of souls when it matters not if it culminates in sale - matters only that the connection happened.  No, not that "Now".  The small n now is that space I often find myself in at a show - the polite but forgettable "beautiful work thank you great colors thank you hmmm nice thank you i'll be back great thank you - (oh god, is it 5 o'clock 6 o'clock dinner over yet?).  Small n now is death to the artist, to connection.  It is equivalent to drinking hemlock with your (maybe not) free bagel and dirty water coffee at the check-in table.  It is equivalent to stabbing the words "beautiful work great colors hmmmnice i'll be back" with a rapier and putting them and their speakers into the ragged, stained Bag of Trys hanging at your side (perhaps grafted there - no need anymore for the shoulder strap).

So, when I returned from the show, the garden energy petered out, I busied myself with Other Things - that would be all the stuff you dread about FB - I cleaned the fridge today, yuck! Did anyone see the red sweater I left at the...etc.  Then my muse returned, thank you Muse, and in the form of a Vision.  A Vision is when an idea erupts, full blown and crystal clear, into my mind.  This is not a frequent occurrence and it's a good thing.  Sounds like a great thing, right?  What's to do but get it down?  Not a great thing, and here's why, which brings me to the title of this post - Sometimes Backwards Doesn't Work.

I've written before, about my process of putting down texture and color, tuning in and waiting, looking for what evolves out of this method.  Something virtually always comes bubbling forth, inspiring a train of thought/work, energizing me.  The energy usually stays with me when I take the work to a show and enter into the small n now, naturally lifting me into the Now of Now.

The Vision doesn't fit well into this paradigm.  So.  How to get the Vision down without destroying it in the process?  And that is where I am today.

1 comment:

  1. Wow..what a great description of the small n now art show incredibly succinct!! Great writing Whitney!!