October 25, 2006

When The Thought Wears Thin...

2006, Bokusho Chisou (layers), 48x42

I've never been one to exclaim that I was born to paint, that I MUST paint, that painting/art is MY LIFE! Sorry, there are too many other sources of creativity that have interested me during my lifetime, and each in it's turn was a source of great inspiration and passion. From gourmet cooking (albeit a short stint) to aggressive gardening and landscape design... needle work (fashion as well as crafts) to home decor... some of the dregs remain but they all had their day in the sun. Nothing stuck the way painting did... a hobby turned into a career and the passion was enhanced by the advantage of creeping commercialism.

Okay... money makes me do it. I'm not apologizing, it's not THAT much money to keep me chained in the studio, so there must be something more, like personal goals, pride in achievement... or maybe it's just expected of me. Geeze, they might say, I guess she's going to retire/quit... must be getting too old to keep the pace. Humpffff! No, I'm not! I'm doing my best work, dammit! But maybe there are a few other things I'd rather be doing, how 'bout that? Okay, so I am doing other things as well. That property by the lake is sure taking up a bit of resource, creative energy as well as physical, and so far, I still have enough to go around.

Then there's the g-kids, the two local ones are in our care this week as their mom is out of town, so I'm sleeping at their house to facilitate school bus schedules, etc. I like to spend personal time with my g-kids, I not only get to know them better, but appreciate what their parents deal with on a daily basis... reminds me of the stress young parents deal with (the memory disappears like labor pains after the fact.) Life is full, I won't bore you with recitations most are familiar with... they are part of lives of everyone.

Actually, I began this post with the idea that it was a studio thought that was wearing thin... the need to stretch my process into another realm before I start repeating myself... which never has the same magic as the original impetus. Didn't mean to stretch it to mean my career as a whole... but the parallel is there, I suppose. This whole blog intent is about defining the end... at least recognizing it so I don't wake up one day and wonder what happened... why don't I paint anymore? Well... signing on for two featured shows next year should take care of that for a while yet. Deadlines rule! And what's more, I'm not finished... anyway, what would I blog about???

The above painting is a fav... the inked sheets are layered and reversed, creating a soft mystery to the individual calligraphic images. The background color hints of apricot... sounds like I'm describing wine...

5 comments:

Tracy said...

Hi Karen, In retrospect I am very glad that I didn't immediately get work as an artist after college. Instead I had the chance to find other creative outlets. So like you, although painting is really important to me, I know now that I can do other things.

Right now my balance is off though, and everything is about painting, but that will change I know. Maybe we need to get a lake house...

Anonymous said...

Karen, I keep forgetting to ask. Have you seen this painting by Dorothy Djukulul at the Hood Musem of Art in NH?

I think of it now because we both have expressed an interest in "Asian" influences, so I thought you might find it interesting to see a different and yet similar perspective = paintings by Indigenous female artists from Australia. Billy Gusky pointed this concection out and I was suprised to see a kinship.

I need some deadlines.

KJ said...

Tracy, bet you agree that 'balance' is boring... being off balance is exciting, makes the heart race and often results in unexpected consequences. Hard to sustain, however, and don't think I'd want to... I KNOW I wouldn't want to!

Steve, thanks for the reference... I had an instant sense of recognition (not the grid) but best I can come up with is Twombley's blackboards. I Googled her name and that piece is markedly different from most of her work which is distinctly Aboriginal. Interesting person. Yes, deadlines make magic happen.

Tracy said...

Karen, you are right! I thought I wanted balance but it is more exciting when things are unbalanced. Which is why after I deliver my work I plan to continue the unbalance and channel Betty Crocker for a week or so to clean my house and gardens. Not sure if my heart will race though.

Martha Marshall said...

Oh yeah, I know where you're all coming from regarding being off balance. I'm in that zone right now, definitely! I ignore the dog hair tumbleweeds floating by as I race from easel to dropcloth-draped table.