Aug 31, 2011

where i'm at

August was a simple quiet month of a routine in the studio.  I 'shut the doors of my house' as Stanley Kunitz calls it, working on eight canvases,  smaller, more intimate pieces, chipping away at them little by little each day.   From February until June I drew a lot, sketched, looked, took pictures, watched movies, read, looked more.  A lot of the ground work was laid in those months of sorting.  Once I started painting  they happened like the natural next step they were intended to be. Now that I know where this work is headed, I’m tending to their nuances, fine tuning and tweaking.  This stage sometimes feels like polishing silver.  It’s repetitive and meditative. 

Today I turn forty-five!  It’s a solid sturdy number and it feels really good.  As artists we’re expected to explain the purpose and intent of what we do at every turn.  I actually enjoy figuring all that out intellectually – I like knowing why I do what I do at this particular moment in time.   The reader and explorer in me relishes that part of the work.  But truth be told, on a purely gut level, I make art because it reminds me that  I am alive and breathing, a conscious creature with a limited amount of time.  I feel like I’m actually just now starting to get a handle on art making. I don't think we ever really figure anything out, but I am hearing what I want to say with the work and trusting what I hear.  Hopefully, I’ll have a few more decades to keep making art, because not only do I like the idea of being an old lady, I have a lot of stuff I want to make.   As my friend wisely said to me recently, “work your ass off in the studio because that is going to tell you who you are.”