One September day I took a day trip with two like minded painting friends to visit some galleries and check out a couple of showings. We drove off on a sunny morning through some beautiful landscape to stop first at the lake country gallery in Winfield, and later the larger Kelowna galleries. I had recently joined online to explore some neighboring towns art options and consider if they might work for me when I bring my work back into a public forum.
An interesting quote I read, though cannot attribute to a speaker, Being an artist is a constant dance between putting yourself out there front and center and hiding yourself away. I think I am quite comfortable with the hiding oneself away part of the dance.
The gallery tour put some incredible work in some beautiful forums, and the day with painting friends always goes into the category of fuel to the fire. Summer I have found to be a slow zone in painting, I say that while recognizing in spurts some pieces made it from beginning to end, and the sketch book was not totally ignored. It is however, time to get back to the practice part of painting. The one that says in a calm but firm voice, you must show up.
I have new work that is rising up from the sleepy embers, sparks of idea, flashes of image, and I am eager to make that commitment. I have found an interesting thing happened on the way to productivity, I revisited a piece started last winter. I have been adding glazes and refining detail, I slipped into the studio late last night to grey down the white of an eye as its brightness was something i didn’t want to see on my first view in the new day. It is a piece that I have learned a great deal from working with a medium and method still new to me. I will not post it until it’s fully finished at this point, as one thought came like a slowly understood revelation. From the beginning I had an attachment to the subject. I do not know him as a person, I only watched him in a moment of his world and work. Despite his youth he had so much strength and openness, not one of vulnerability but of truth. From the moment I started sketching, and in the early stages of the paintings I could see the finished piece with such clarity it never occurred to me that everyone else would potentially see something different. Last night I invited my husband to have a look, stating that in the past two weeks I have spent three full mornings working on this portrait. I can see each change and understand which additional ones I will still make, but I also wondered if anyone else would see anything different. I shared my earlier revelation regarding sharing work in progress, including I am just understanding not everyone may see what I am seeing. A squeeze of my shoulders, a kiss on the cheek, a quiet,”then make them see it”. I smile.
We of course do not see the world as it is, but we see the world as we are. Sharing image is to be done with release. Control the part you can, – let go, the rest belongs to the viewer.