Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 24

Twenty-four days. On my birthday, twenty-four days ago, I made this commitment to write something here every day. The something would be pulled from the experience of the day. I figured, no matter how ordinary a day, there's always something to be gleaned. Easy enough too, as I'm always reading. The hard part is that writing well generally requires perspective and perspective is gained in time. And there are limits too. Some things can't be written here.
It helps to remind myself of the why I'm writing this stuff in the first place. . The why is that I'm an artist. I make art and some people like what I make well enough to collect it and that is how I make a living. It's not the easiest job I've had, but it's the one that makes the most sense to me. The art I make isn't created in a vacuum. It is created from experiences and thoughts. I'm as much interested in the process as the finished pieces. The process is tangled up in everyday life.
That said, I'm dead tired tonight. It was a long work day and a little boy home with a cold and a toilet that overflowed and made a lot of things wet, among many other things.
Still, a couple of things did occur to me.
I stopped at the gas station at dusk to fill my tank and empty about $40 from my bank account for it. Dusk always is charged with energy for me. It's a transition from day to night, neither one nor the other. The crows have stopped their bickering and are sequestered silently in the trees and the bats are emerging . The colors of the sky and the mountains against them are striking. Such beauty. I think I'd see beauty at dusk no matter where I was. Partly it's the magic of the hour, but mostly I think it's because I'm looking for it. If you're looking for beauty, it tends to show itself.
The other thing that seems important is that I realize that my best work has very few words, or none. It seems that when I care deeply about a subject, I work at it, wear it out---paint it, sculpt it, write prolific and wordy notes on it but, eventually, I will and must distill it all down to something really simple. Understanding this, I believe, is a bit of a marker for me. It takes a long time and a lot of work for any artist to discover her own strengths and weaknesses, to understand her process. There aren't any shortcuts. Eventually though, we begin to recognize ourselves. It begins to make a bit of sense.

Finally, writing here once a day is training my brain to think. If you want to do something--write, paint, learn a language or how to cook, whatever it is-- the first step is to show up every day. Even if you don't produce a single line, you're training yourself. Eventually your brain will figure out that if you're going to be there anyway, you may as well make something. And, you will.

Must have sleep.

1 comment:

GingerGirl said...

Much thanks for the reminder about the need to train your brain. Words I needed to hear today. As always, your beautifully crafted words inspire me, and make me think, and for that I am so grateful. I hope that you and yours are on the mend soon.