Sunday, May 15, 2011

Creative Transition

I am feeling the most fractured I've ever felt in my life...

My typical roles as a mother, worker and even as an artist have changed drastically within the past year...

My son is graduating and leaving to his new life..
having moved out to live with his father it was an adjustment..
his decision to go into the military was another...

In my day job I've shifted in a role of working for labor, more so than ever.   I'm speaking up with a role in current negotiations and I'm finding because it represents core issues for me in how I feel about how the world looks upon it's labor class,  it's more emotional for me than is probably healthy.

In my creative work, I want to present core issues rather than just paint.. I want a more cohesive voice within my work and it has been difficult for me to focus on any one topic. 

Where I am today is looking at the shifting world of economic inequality, where our government focuses and seems to prioritize for funding and where it takes away funding, I see the crumbling of a middle class.. a larger and larger gap between the wealthy and those in need and that those in need are becoming my neighbors and coworkers and I find that these things together (at least for me) need to be addressed... and I'm feeling very fractured in how to use and what to use to talk about all of this in one cohesive visual way..

That being said, I find myself drawing and not being satisfied, painting and not feeling finished, doodling and wondering why I am making art at all... Today I began a still life just to show up for myself and ended up thinking I didn't want to make art at all anymore.. I don't feel what I do is significant enough to address what I am feeling inside and what I am passionate about .. yet I still don't have a clear path on how to present my concerns...

It's a larger issue for me.. a transition.. a melding of my heart with my mind and I am finding it extremely complex..

I know I should keep it simple and when I decide on simple is best, I just show up and draw daily or scribble or jot down ideas.. feeling that I am still showing up in some way but I also am finding it extremely frustrating being fractured for time between trying to resolve this creative drive and energy that seems to rise up daily.. I feel anger and discouragement when I can't realize something from what is percolating inside.. the demise of the artist I suppose..

I continue to see all of this as one movement;  the work outside of actually creating a work of art, the meshing of my ideas surrounding climate change, destruction of our natural resources in the name of capital gains and indulgences that some refuse to acknowledge, the distance  I am feeling from my immediate family, the loss of role as mother and the new role as grandmother, the confusion of forging a new life and future for myself in a world of unknown both financially, physically and creatively...

It feels like a big mess really.  And truthfully I don't feel I am handling all the different pieces very effectively.  I end up wanting to run, disappear and not be found.. couple that with wanting to be strong, taking a stand and voicing long established rights, fight for what is right, nurture grand babies, create significant work that says how I feel and expresses my deepest concerns for our environment and our social well being... well.. yes, it's a mess and my heart feels troubled frequently.

So I take a deep, deep breath.  I look to others for support and reassurance.  I look to those that have gone before me in the world of art.  Those making statements now and forging new paths to express like minded issues.

Andy Goldsworthy is one of those artists.  I have been inspired by his work for over 10 years.  Here is a link to a blog about his work and a short clip of his "rivers and tides" which when it came out I gave a copy to all the intimate family members in my world because he describes his process as an artist and it resonates so very deeply to my own that I wanted everyone I loved to know about it.

here is a couple of videos from "Rivers and Tides"

New to me, at least my recent discovery, is J. Henry Fair, an amazing photographer working with his art to open dialogue and eyes to a topic near and dear to my being.  That is the impact of our capitalistic indulgences on our land.. I recently found his book, "The Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis       "  and have begun my own series of paintings inspired by his work and my own photography talking about environmental concerns...

Documentation: environmental series

Documentation: photo series

But for me, my voice is not fully realized.. YET... though I've been creating work for a good 18 years seriously, and before that dabbling in writing, I still feel there is a spurt of growth ready to surge... to describe it would be to liken it to a volcano nearing eruption... I feel like a time bomb walking around... and it's like I'm collecting more and more information and it is all weaving itself together and for now what I'm creating seems to be venting.. letting off release steam and not the real work... again more frustration.. I guess too, there was a certain expectation of myself that I would have my VOICE...

I consider myself (at times) patient and (at others) very impatient and I'm finding balance right now hard to achieve in my creative work... it all feels pushed down inside and no real space to explode.. and all the while showing up for the other roles in my life is deeply contributing to my need to creatively EXPLODE!... it's quite a strange feeling...

I've never quite felt this pressure.  And pressure it is.  Nothing feels quite right for now.  So I gather, I show up in the best way I can for myself creatively and I try to get out of my own way.. it's not easy for me right now, and recently i was ready to give it all up... Not creating is not an option (at least not today).

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