Monday, July 21, 2008

A recently completed small work, 'Curls'.

I realize it's been nearly a week since I last posted. I guess I have sort of been in the mid summer doldrums. I get this way sometimes when the heat and humidity kicks in, but I think it has hit me a bit stronger this time than usual. And then too, there has been the deceleration after the opening of my exhibition at the Woodson.

Putting together Unknown Bridges and all the work and thought and creative juices that it took not only to do the work, but the gathering of reference material, the continued adrenalin rush as each new piece came off the drawing board and the mad dash to 'put it all together' in the last weeks before all the work was shipped out, certainly took a toll. Preparation for such a large undertaking can not help but to stress one's limits and capacity to meet the challenge. I never felt for one minute, that I wouldn't meet that challenge nor enjoy the march to it, but it is certain now, that the underlying stress has finally hit.

The joy that I felt after framing the last of the 28 works that made up the hanging of the exhibition last month, could not have been greater or more gratifying. And experiencing the opening weekend in Wausau was the proverbial icing on the cake.

But now that time and space and intervening quiet days of reflection have come, the reality of it all has set in; the reality that I spent a major chunk of my creative life, over the last few years, putting all that work together. It was, don't get me wrong, a powerful experience for me as an artist . . . to devote so much time and thought to a very specific group of works based upon a very specific focus of subject matter, subject matter and compositional ideas which were out of the realm, shall we say, of my usual thrust in work and ideas.

Allowing myself to 'go with the flow' and seeing where all those ideas and emotions could take me as an artist, not only opened my eyes to new and exciting motivation, but made me, I hope, a better artist in the process. Sometimes we need those unexpected shoves to refresh and renew and reorganize. Stagnation in creative flow can only serve, I feel, to keep an artist from reaching what potentials might be laying dormant and waiting for that special spark that will bring them to the fore.

I will admit that it has been difficult these last couple of weeks, to regroup. This has happened many times over the years and I've always managed to find my way out of it and move forward and to feel like I have turned that corner which will lead me to new places as an artist. I have no doubt it shall be so this time around as well.

I think all artists hit these slow spots in their lives and careers, where we can take advantage of the 'lull' to sit back and look at where we are, where we have been and in what direction we might like to head next. The challenge becomes one of feeling confident enough though, to know that the lull will end and the creative flow will begin again and that the wait time is all part of the process of growth.

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