Sunday, March 23, 2014

That Was It

Sumpthin's up.

If I had to write an artist's statement today, it would consist of a blank sheet of paper. I'd have to sign it in invisible ink.

Is it the long wait for spring? Perhaps the tilt of the earth, or the relentless, cheerless, twenty-four-hour "news" cycle.

Maybe its nothing at all.

But sumpthin's up. I find myself mixing different colors and applying them with a different hand. 
The creases around my eyes are deepening as I think harder and stare longer.

A friend of mine, a fellow who has painted his way through life far longer than I, tells me that oftentimes he feels a need to explore a concept - sometimes without really understanding what compels him to do so. It's not unusual for the 'aha moment' to hold off for months or longer.  It's a nameless, wordless conversation that he recognizes and accepts after all these years, and he gives it room to develop and be expressed. When finally the solution comes to him, he says, "Oh, that was it!" And on he goes, hardly breaking stride.

These times are a little uneasy. As I've mentioned before, I like the little groove I've developed for myself. It's an odd feeling to stray off my beaten path.

(Yeah, I know what that sounds like. I'm not plodding off into the dark humid tangle of vines and politics of some third world  island. My fridge is close by and we're fairly well stocked with cushy toilet paper. The neighbors are fine people. But still.)

The best I can say is that I'm figuring out the world, one brush stroke at a time. One of these days the solution will show itself and I'll say, "Oh! That was it!" 

And then I'll know.


Mavis said...

Good morning! I thought this might come in handy in our travels...

"From the age of six I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was fifty I had published a universe of designs. but all I have done before the the age of seventy is not worth bothering with. At seventy five I'll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am eighty you will see real progress. At ninety I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At a hundred I shall be a marvelous artist. At a hundred and ten everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokosai, but today I sign my self 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing." -- Hokusai

Patty said...

So Mavis, what you're suggesting is that if I keep this up for another, oh, say, 120 years, I'll be close to understanding what this is all about.
Okay, I'm in!

Cathyann Burgess said...

Mavis, Thank you!
Patty, don't give up! Fascination with the doing is primary!

Patty said...

Oh Cathyann, you said in just a few words what it took me paragraphs to say. Thank you!!!