Monday, February 02, 2009

Flying Girl On the Ocean Deep, or Poetry

Flying Girl On the Ocean Deep, or Poetry
Golden Fluid Acrylic, white gel pen on paper

This flying girl was done in layers. I started with a wash of transparent spring green, and then a deep turquoise and everything went kelly on me Kelly green, I mean. That was the first thing that went wrong with my painting. But then, what I've been learning is that there is no "wrong" in painting. There is only something that needs to be worked on.

I had an image in my head, but it wasn't long before that image went cockeyed. I could have fought with my kelly green sea to get it back to my vision, or I could have given up on it completely. The first would have been an unhappy place to be, for me anyway, especially since it is almost impossible to paint what is in your head exactly, and the second would make me feel bad about myself. I don't like giving up... although there is a place for letting go of your attachment to a piece. In the end, I went with the kelly green and the piece ended up being far more complex than I had planned. While it is true that the more facility you have with the medium the more control you have... there are also fewer happy accidents to follow and discover something new. Unless of course, you seek out the unexpected and allow them to take you where they will.

Writing is the same way. That novel, that poem, that essay is rarely exactly the same as the impulse that got you started. Maybe it's because art, in all its forms, is the way we interpret and make sense of the wide world. And the world is so much wider and deeper than we can comprehend. As mysterious and powerful as the sea, is our experience in the world. And whatever we put on paper or canvas or into movement or music is never going to equal the world around it. It can be moving and transformative, deep or enlightening, but it's not life. Although the more we let our subconscious take the lead, the more we follow the unexpected, the more passes we make with our tools at hand, the more depth our work will take on.

But here's another thing. The journey of art, of poetry or music or writing or whatever, is also the journey of life. Yes, I said art is not life, but the journey is the same.

As I struggle to understand my own creative process, as I struggle to learn my media, as I struggle with my inner demons that try to keep me from creating, as I struggle to be a better and deeper artist, I am also learning about who I am, how I get along in the world, how I can be happier, how I can appreciate life more and more fully.

I think different media have served to help me grow in different ways. Poetry helped me let go of my past and my sadness. Writing helped me gain self confidence and focus. Now art is helping me to live in the moment and gain spiritual strength.

For instance, I keep wanting this post to be cohesive and I want to be able to go deep for my connections. I want to be able to go over it and revise. I want to be able to search my twisty brain for just the right word (which is out of reach right now) but a little girl keeps coming up to me and-- oops! she got a boo boo. Oops! Now the boy got a boo boo.

My life right now is not the way I would write it if i had the opportunity. But it is what it is. And I need to go with the medium of my days, rather than fight against it, wishing I hadn't added that green, or wishing I had uninterrupted days to focus on work. Or giving up on my goal of being a writer and an artist.

Paying attention to my process helps me pay attention to my life, in all its boo boos and its sunny days. Watching what comes out of it, the pictures I paint, in particular, helps me understand the messages that come from my subconscious about my life.

What is that Flying Girl doing in that little boat? Looking for her words? Fishing for poetry? It's all around her, isn't it, some deeper than she can see? All she has to do is reach out to find it, even if what she catches is not what she thought she would find.


Genie Sea said...

I love the movement and flow of this piece; her outstretched body, the little waves, the billowing clouds, her wavy hair. It is a beautiful moment in time.

They do say that the journey is half the fun. but I tend to believe it is the fun. :)

jess gonacha said...

i love how you can make up your own story about what's happening in your paintings. this one is lovely!

septembermom said...

I appreciate your sharing the creative process with us when discussing one of your art pieces. As readers, we hopefully can gain personal and artistic insight from your thoughts about creativity, inspiration and expression. I am very glad that I found your blog. I look forward to following your blog and watching some of your journey as an artist.

Emme said...

I just wanted you to know I think your paintings are amazing! Seriously. I totally fell off the portfolio project wagon the past couple of weeks when life got in the way, but I'm trying to remember that I'm never behind, and to just jump in wherever I am. I can so relate to everything you are writing about right now. Thanks for sharing it!

D'Arcy said...

sometimes life relects a pool of water, I see my reflection, I find things on the surface, occasionally I dive deep.

sometimes life relects the desert. grains of sand feel good under feet, but the residue is never so good. it's hot and dry.

sometimes life is like the snow. cold yet soft. full of wonder, but also loneliness.


life rocks.

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