Friday, December 7, 2018

A thousand decisions and conversations had with ourselves

Art has the power to rewire our brains. A thousand choices build up the layers of a painting, a thousand decisions and conversations had with ourselves and our materials.

In my normal day to day life, I sometimes obsess over making the wrong choice, ordering the wrong meal, buying the wrong sweater, saying the wrong thing, or choosing the wrong what, when, where, why, and how. I think I will be disappointed in my choice or someone will be disappointed in me for my choice.

However, somehow with my art, I don't worry as much. I know what I am choosing and why. The materials and I dance, we have this little back and forth, we compromise and the painting always sets us straight in the end. I love this. I love this knowing, this understanding, this trust and relationship I have with the process. I still have doubts and I still get it wrong but I mostly know the rules and the plan when it comes to painting. I know what I want and how to get it from my painting and that is a freedom rarely felt elsewhere or with much regularity in my life.

I have now danced across decades with these materials, paintings, and choices. My brain is better for it and my soul certainly is. My experience allows for all of this, the time spent with little paintings, big paintings, talking about paintings, writing about paintings, looking at paintings, as well as promoting mine and other's art. I keep showing up at this crazy calling that is at the heart of who I am. It's what I just seem to know, like a secret language built from years of exposure, training, learning, sharing, seeing, but mostly feeling and daring.

I wouldn't recommend this profession to many people because it is not stable or responsible and it requires help and support from multiple sources but damn, if you can stomach it, if you are lucky enough to find that support; patronage, family, friends, partners, and spouses that somewhat understand, then do it, and dive into the language, and never look back.

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