In writing my last post of despair...I found some healing. I don't know how it works this way, but by admitting my utter loss of creative capabilities publicly and painfully here on the blog, I was able to feel some kind of relief. I felt some guilt...for not re-making the ugly world that I see into the world that I know lies underneath. I felt some prodding from within, and I am not sure why!
This weekend, while I sat in a dusty hot garage helping Chris by manning his garage sale for the afternoon, I was approached by a young local woman named Whitney. She quietly asked me if I was the one...who was Chris' girlfriend...who did collage? Why yes, I am....and I wondered why she asked. Apparently Chris had gotten into a conversation with her while was probably picking thru his store for ephemera...and they got into an art conversation. Supportive man that he is, he showed Whitney a couple of the little books that I have made that he had handy at the store. She loved them and was quite happy to chat with me about collage.
Of course, I was happy to talk with her about art, mixed media and the like. I guided her towards magikglasses and this blog so she could find more to see. It was quite uplifting and I felt like a mini super star here in my own town.
But inside my guts were churning, as I admitted to myself that I had been avoiding the table, and silently protesting. Against what I am not sure! I felt like a fake, discussing my "passion" with her when lately I have been doing anything but art. I felt the prodding of my own conscience. I felt the need to get back to work.
I am a fan of Rasputina, a boo-hoo cello rock band spearheaded by Melora Creagor. She recently came out with a new CD, Sister Kinderhook, with passionate songs she wrote based on history of the Hudson Valley. The songs are great, and the words really spoke to me. I immediately became enamored of my own local history. I live next to a cemetery and started to look at the gravestones that border my house. There's a particularly interesting one there from a certain Jenny Van Evera...who died in 1805. I am figuring that my house was probably built in the late 1700s....most likely before poor Jenny was laid in her grave. I started reading local history and currently I am reading "Frontiersman of New York"by Jeptha R. Simms Albany, NY 1883 , with oodles of personal accounts of how the Mohawk Valley region was settled. Indian stories. War stories. Interesting to me at the moment for some reason. And to think I HATED history in school.
How the Unrelated Events Relate
After I wrote my sad apologetic blog post, I started some new watercolors. I want to use them in some new works....Works about the Mohawk Valley. Colonial times and old stories. I am excited to be thinking in a different era for a change. The whole Victorian thing I think I have played out enough. The Adirondack thing...well that must also be played out, too. Stumps, dead swamps...they have been replaced by farms and valley views. I am feeling the valley now and a new kinship to the place that I now reside. Whitney made me realize that I have an inner pride about my work and even tho my sensitive nature sometimes prevents me from being a collage powerhouse at times, I am far from done with this medium!
Over the weekend, I made an attempt at some new work. It's hard to change your style, adjust your attitude and produce good work immediately! I struggled. But I stuck with it and actually got 2 pieces started. It felt so good to be expressing myself, but I really feel like I am at the bottom of a long hill. It will take time to create a new vision, with a new style. I came into work this morning, and found a most kind note from co-blogger Steven, prodding me onto good work. How great is it that I have met such a supportive person! I really liked his reasoning! If one stops feeding the cause for good, then the cause for bad will rise up. "They" win. The best thing I can do for mankind is to continue providing creative insight-a reason for hope-wisdom and reflection on the past. Thank you Steven for putting this so succinctly. No wonder you are a professor!
So dear reader, I pry myself out of myself. I plod on the paper. It isn't easy being an artist. But I am compelled.