Life and art are a fascinating and wonderous journey.
This has been a winter of discovery and change some of which I covered in my last post. But here's what brought me to this moment - During a long convalescence a short while ago I had the luxury of time to dig into my deepest self to consider how things are "going", to check my happiness scale as I hadn't been feeling too good about things and it had nothing to do with the surgery or getting better. For quite some time I had been aware that things needed changing and it was becoming a priority to do so. Some parts were in my control some needed a miracle, but the big questions were what exactly needed changing and how do I go about it. That's when a series of little miracles did, in fact, happen one of which was coming across a fantastic article in Yoga International, here's the link http://yogainternational.com/article/view/aging-gracefully-yogic-wisdom-for-the-third-stage-of-life The author of this piece was recouperating as well. I have quotes from it below but hope you will take time to read it and maybe it will be inspiring for you as well. The article is called "Aging Gracefully Yogic Wisdom for the Third Stage of Life" by Deborah Willoughby. I am grateful to Yoga International and Ms. Willoughby for allowing me to quote from her work.
|Winter #5, watercolor and pen, 20 x 14"|
Like a car, the body is well engineered for a long journey. And the purpose of this journey is not to accumulate possessions or experiences or power or fame, but to gather the tools and means to promote awareness of the luminous field of conscious energy that is the core of our being. They knew that to die without having accomplished this purpose is the greatest loss."
|Winter #7, watercolor, 20 x 14"|
External achievements, the journey, accumulate possessions or experiences....fame. I am ferociously competitive and I wanted more and bigger exhibits, grants (big important ones but was told I'd never get such a thing as a realist painter). Any rejection was painful and I felt that "failure" was stamped on my forehead. I competed with myself on everything...if I did a painting I liked I wanted to do an even better one, when I got a grant I wanted one every time I applied. I knew these were not rational desires but they were completely understandable. When it all finally collapsed with losing my job and being faced with change I never asked for all it did was set me free. For so many years I kept saying "all I want to do is paint" so fate intervened and now I really have all the time in the world to paint, explore ideas that have been smoldering while I was busy doing other things and I feel like I've been let out of prison...it is scary but I'm free to pursue and strengthen the connection with what inspires my work: nature.
These paintings of the woods are exploring a concept that I will talk about in my next post. Stay tuned!