Saturday, June 5, 2010

Grand Marais again~





Every year since 1990 (or maybe 1989?) mom and I have gone up to the Artist's Colony in Grand Marais MN for a week of painting and writing and thinking with Elizabeth Erickson. It has always been an amazing experience, and I usually spend the first day in fear of the white canvas, quietly freaking out and snapping at anyone who comes close. It is that uncomfortable factor of knowing it is up to me. No one can tell me how to do this, how to put the paint out, what color to choose, where to put it on the canvas, what kind of mark to make. This is absolutely terrifying. All sense of the falseness of my attempts comes to the front of my skull, and the fact that I have no idea what I am doing is screaming at me. Everyone else is so confident and sure of what they are doing. Who do I think I am? man.
and i mean, EVERY YEAR.

So somehow, I pick up the brush and choose a panel, paper, canvas, choose a color, and begin.
Since I am no longer the most important person in my world all the time now, this past year and this year weren't quite as terrifying. There was still this sense of what am I doing? but by now I am more accustomed to the NEED of this time, and the exploration into myself, and also the fact that I've been trying to paint pretty regularly gave me confidence that this wouldn't be the last time I paint for months.
And so I didn't paint any dogs.

I painted whales.

And Max and Duane.
The whales came because of the oil spill in the Gulf, I think. They are the first things I painted back in 1989 at CSB. I loved those. Still have a few.

And the paintings of Max and Duane came about like the dogs originally started- because I love the beings and the spirits of these beings, and so I want to get them down in color with my eye and hand. These pieces felt really vulnerable and intimate to me, to do them. I am very much aware of the fact that Duane and I are older than the usual idea of parents, and I am protective of our time with Max and want to enjoy and hold onto everything I possibly can, for him and for us. The delicacy and limited time span of a life are somehow very in my mind these days. I am incredibly grateful. And I hate it when I feel petty and obsess with inane material things, like trying to get shows or worrying about who will like my work, or whether we will have enough money to live on...
life is so sweet and rich and full right now, I am constantly tearing up at my own joy~

1 comment:

Chris said...

Lovely post. You do a wonderful job of communicating the life of an artist, of showing the little joys and big fears we all have, of being in the moment. I love the whale in this one and the tall, tall tree in another post. Good heavens, you're talented! And persistent.

I saw your link in e-WARM-ups. Glad they're connecting us. Thanks for continuing to share! Chris Madsen