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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gaining Traction, Burning Time

I've been away from the studio for so long that I hardly knew where to start. I procrastinated for a few days (yes, me too) until the pressure to create was overpowering. My first few efforts were shaky and weird. But then I got into flow and lost myself in it; ah, that's when the angels sing.

These are all 8x10" encaustic collages on wood. I'm making new work for Art in the Pearl that happens in the Park Blocks in Portland over the Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 30 (Saturday) through Sept. 1 (Labor Day). This is only my second art fair this year and maybe one of my last as I don't see how I can keep up production while having a heavy teaching schedule.

I want to do both, as well as spend more time with my family, my close friends, my far-away friends, and so on. I want to gulp life down and put my arms around everyone but I am not my big fat imagination; I am only one 'me' that can be in one place at a time, doing one thing at a time.

I've dropped some important balls this year. Old friends that I love and miss. Art fairs that were fun and that brought me into proximity with artists I look forward to seeing and catching up with.

If life is a box of chocolates then it is one where you can't choose every single flavor. Sometimes choosing one kind means that you have to let go of another kind, even if you didn't realize that when you made the first choice.

That's what's been in my thoughts this week. All the beauty that slips through the cracks because we can only do so much. The things a person sacrifices (and I do dislike that word) to be the only person they could ever be. Because nothing could make me stop doing this; teaching and making art. And sometimes that makes me selfish.

I will not solve this, I know. Just tossing it out there in case anyone shares these thoughts too or has considered them.

28 comments:

No Drama - Just blogging said...

Ah, the existential questions... do we belong to time or time belongs to us? Me thinks neither.

The ephemeral nature of time makes all of our efforts to create any sort of permanency of things, an exercise in futility, except perhaps for the memories we leave behind with those who understand our quandry and the art that with any luck will survive us as mute witness of our being here.

You belong where you are and you are blooming where you are grounded. The good friends understand, and the rest are not yet quite in synchronicity with the mutual needs.

When the call comes to create be it friendship or art we must answer. The spirit knows what we need and the great collect always seems to provide at the right time.
Go create, that is your present need and it will refill your coffers to share with us later.

Those who love you can wait and I do.

kelly rae said...

yes, yes, i struggle with this exactly. thank you for saying it out loud for me...it sounds better when you say it :)

can't wait to see you soon!

Ryan Clinton said...

How do you fade one color to another so seamlessly? Like in the bird painting. Is that a dumb question?

Judy Wise said...

hi Ryan,
I painted that part with acrylic and my hands. I find that I can blend seamlessly with my fingers while brushes leave marks.
j.

Ro Bruhn said...

I totally agree Judy. I like the box of chocolates comparison, I go for the hard centres first then eat the rest. Love the art as usual.

Shawn Borror said...

judy, i just think you are the grooviest lady i have ever had the pleasure of not fully meeting...someday i want to grow up and be like you in many ways...you seem to know your groove and recognize what makes your heart sing and your soul laugh and that indeed is a rare gift to keep and treasure

misty said...

ahhhh, i am not alone. it feels so good to read your words and know that I am not alone in how I feel.
thank you for sharing your thoughts, your art, and yourself.... all are inspiring and beautiful. xo

John G. said...

These are really lovely.

I'm particularly drawn to the first one probably because I was in the stores TODAY picking out all kinds of sheetings for use as dot stencils.

I had a "shaky and weird" few days in the studio last week. Glad to hear another artist speak of that out loud.

Connie said...

It is not that we can't choose one flavored chocolate over another...it's just that not all the flavors were suppose to be in one box. Our box of chocolates we were given always make the perfect combination.

Your work is beautiful as usual.

Peace & Love.

Holly Loves Art said...

Gorgeous! I'm always so happy to come here and see what you're doing. I hope you're having a wonderful summer.

Take care,
Holly

Whimsies Folksies said...

I feel the same way! There's never enough time for everything. I always feel there needs to be three of me (God forbid!).

Your collages are wonderful and I especially like the second one!

Good luck with your show!

~Joann

ginny said...

I was going to say the first one was wonderful, but then as I scrolled down, I thought the next one was even better, but then I kept going and I love them all and could not chose which I like the best. They are all wonderful.

katie said...

your new work is rich with line and luxurious with color - they make me feel like if they were hanging on a wall and i stood under them i could get a suntan.

so many choices, roads not taken and never explored. this is where the reincarnation story becomes appealing, especially if i get to pick new stuff every lifetime :-) why can't we be more like flowers and bloom deeply where ever we are planted without ever longing to be a butterfly...

dolceamara said...

Judy, you "selfish"? I beg to differ! In fact, if I had to describe you, that word would never come up. Even if you did eat the whole box of chocolates, it wouldn't make you selfish. Knowing you, you wouldn't get through the first bite before you were looking around for someone to share it with. That's what you do. And that's why I love you. :-)

carolsuecreates said...

I've been following your blog since I signed up for one of your classes at Raevn's Nest. This current art really struck me, as did your age-old question. I'm so excited that I'll be meeting you in person in just a few short weeks...which weeks get shorter and shorter the older one gets.

MB Shaw said...

I hear ya! And yes, I am the same way. It seems like I can only juggle a certain # of balls and I invariably drop one (or more) of them. Ugh. Trying to do too much, we are. I would love to have a conversation about this some day. Since you and I have the Art Fair thing in common, it would be interesting to share ideas.

barbara said...

Beautiful work and beautiful thoughts...as I age I find my life just becomes fuller and fuller... and some of what I have held precious and dear needs to, with much love, move into the back seat. Makes me sad and more than a little guilty sometimes...but I know in my toes the only way to go is forward and the only answer I can have to what is birthing in me now is yes.

Tricia said...

judy, the last three paragraphs i could have written. ---only you expressed the feeling so much better than i ever could. those were the things i was up early this morning thinking on. a big sigh...

Karen Cole said...

Hmmmm, a box of chocolates? Yes, I'm there with you.
I break open each one to see what's inside, then take a taste of each.

Your work is certainly not suffering.

lila said...

You have expressed some of the frustration I feel too! thank you!
the art you are producing is wonderful!

Candace said...

Thanks for this post and this conundrum so many of us face. I so enjoy the artwork you are bringing forth, too. It has your stamp yet is going somewhere or coming from somewhere very different.

Remember what T Williams said, "Time is the longest distance between two places." It's that way with everything. imho.

Big hug,
Candace

Chrissy said...

It's plain that you love and care for John and your children - and that they return your devotion.

And if you can create something as gorgeous as these, everyone who knows you must be willing to make allowances for your moments of 'selfishness' - bet they don't even look at it that way!

I'd be so proud to produce work like this and to be able to help so many others achieve. I'm on another continent so I'm sad I'll never get to one of your courses. Still, blogs are good too!

rivergardenstudio said...

I love your journal pages, and your peach cobbler looks delicious! Roxanne

Meri Arnett-Kremian said...

Questions on the meaning of life, onions in a drying rack, a peach cobbler (I'm especially drawn to peaches right now because I had to put my big handsome male cat Peaches to sleep yesterday), and a story of a mysterious death on a set of snowy train tracks. What a feast for the mind!

Ruth Armitage said...

Beautiful pieces Judy! I wish I could be at Art in the Pearl to see them in person... heading to the coast for a little r&r. I know exactly what you mean about making choices. You say it well. Have a great weekend!

Janny said...

Gorgeous work, thanks for sharing! Like the way you think;o)

eb said...

so many wonderful posts here and enormous sharings - thank you Judy - and yes I feel the same way - see you at Squam - looking forward to it...

xox - eb.

Becky Vigor said...

Yes, I struggle with this one too. Just this week I had to accept that I couldn't go and do a printmaking course I'd been looking forward to for months because I'm simply not well enough and need to pace myself and rest more than usual. It was my one and only chance to go and learn from this man and now it's gone.

Making choices always involves loss because we can't choose everything. We have only so much time and energy and there is so much life out there! We have to live within our limitations and sometimes that's hard. But it can be a freedom too - giving us the chance to know ourselves and know our priorities in ways we wouldn't discover if we could just do everything.

It has been some years now since I let go of my attachment to permanence, it is an illusion and best not sought after. That and perfection too. Neither of them exist and I believe we're much better off knowing that and embracing the ephemeral and imperfect. They are so much more vibrant and life-giving.