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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Journey to the Center

The Grant Writing Workshop with Gigi Rosenberg was wonderful in ways I could not have anticipated. Aside from learning about the grant writing process itself and hearing that the odds of getting a grant are encouraging, there is the mapping of goals that clarifies who we are and what we hope to accomplish as artists. Gigi led us through a series of exercises that were designed to help us get in touch with our own work. Part of the process involves understanding where we are in the trajectory of our careers and writing out a very detailed personal mission statement. Just the process of writing out a mission statement is of great value to anyone who wishes to focus on the next step in their artistic journey. And there is always a next step.

One exercise we did as a group was a timed writing on a work of poetry or a photograph she passed out. The exercise was revelatory for me.

I came home very stimulated and had a vivid dream in the night which I woke up and painted today. The first image shows the bright underpainting on plaster. I liked the transparent washes with brush strokes that looked so much like my reverse paintings used to look but I wanted something darker and nuanced so I kept going.

For the last year I've been working on a body of work that included blind swimmers, women seeking internal guidance, connecting with our intuition, etc. Along this line, my dream was of a woman in a blindfold carefully navigating through the dark. I wanted an element of psychological tension.

This is the finished piece. It holds a powerful message that I now understand. It has to do with my search and the fact that I am not finished. My spirit in a state of darkness about all that is unknown to me and how I advance none the less in trust and alertness hoping that the answer will be revealed in time. I am searching and advancing and I feel like that figure with the blindfold. And that is all I know at this time. I don't have the answer. I only know how it feels to be in a state of not knowing.

19 comments:

borrors said...

I love it! and how refreshing to find another that does not have all the answers. I greatly enjoy the time spent viewing and pondering your blog. Thank you for sharing.

katie said...

i got goosebumps reading this - the painting is marvelous! i love it on plaster...

Kel said...

What a powerful experience. The painting is so evocative of what you described. I love that feeling when suddenly you spot a thread that ties much of your current work together and you get a shiver of "OH, I see!"

Candace said...

That is so great, Judy. Thanks for sharing your internal landscape and the work that came out of it.

Karen Cole said...

May you never be "finished".

I love the darker color scheme.

I took Stephanie Lees "Plastered" workshop at Art and Soul last year and loved the way the plaster gives that fabulous BIG brush stroke illusion. It's delicious, like encaustics.

Karen Hall said...

Judy, I love this painting - so deep
Karen

Ro Bruhn said...

This is beautiful Judy, I loved the light version, but the blue adds that extra something. I like the idea of writing your mission statement, I must give it a go.
Ro
xo

Toni said...

Yes. Yes. I wonder if every creative woman recognizes this place, this pause, this moment in seeking. I do. I'm also thinking that keeping a journal is just NOT the same as the honed, focused writing of a mission statement, and so I believe I'm going to do that. My 'signal' dream is always always always a tornado dream (have had one every night this past week/weekend) but I just haven't figured out how to art that.

Maija said...

I love looking at and feeling your art! It gives me great pleasure!

Stephanie Lee said...

Judy judy judy. How do you reach into my heart and express what I didn't know how? That last paragraph resonates so deeply....Thank you.

You are taking this plaster thing to a whole new territory...You and Katie, what with your painting genius and all! I'm in awe. :)

Allegra Smith said...

The darkness before dawn...when we sense the coming of the light and our spirit can dance in anticipation of the wonders that some times we allow ourselves to dream. Who would want to have all the answers? Imagine how boring life would be! Search and discover, find the garden abloom, born from the seeds of your curiosity and your search.

Yeah, that is you alright. I have no questions in my mind. (I absolutely love the image, did I tell you that?

Leah said...

i love when i dream paintings like that.

your piece is gorgeous!!

Carmen said...

I've just discovered your blog and am fascinated! I love this journal entry!

shelley in big sky country said...

ah-ha moments....what they do for the soul. it was wonderful to hear that i'm not the only one who has more unknowns than answers! you do such beautiful work and your writings are so clear and meaningful. thanks for taking the time to put them out there.
play well

mary Ann said...

this feels/looks like a tarot card
i could see an entire deck unfolding
EVOCATIVE

mmmmmm

Deirdra Doan said...

Hi Judy, wonderful to catch up and see what your up to! The plaster painting is very moving and encouraging. I'm working on my elf illustrations for my children's book and John Doan's CD covers. Some day soon after the 28 illustrations are painted, I will be back at the wonders you taught me...Blessings,
oxox

Alyice Edrich said...

I really like the darker one, too. It seems to call out to you. The lighter one is nice, too, but doesn't seem to carry with it the same story. Funny how colors can do that.

patricia said...

This painting speaks VOLUMES TO ME!
Thank you for sharing this...
I continue forward with out so much fear!
Artfully Yours,

femminismo said...

Oh, Judy! I believe this is the most wonderful thing I have ever seen you paint. (And that's saying something!) Keep on, brave one. - femminismo