Edges

The flower painting, in an earlier iteration, 36"x36"

Eight days since I’ve had a chance to quietly sit and type something longer than a lame-assed fuckbook status blob. A pathetic existence. Though the past eight days haven’t been particularly horrible. Just too busy to focus and type, which is horrible in a way I suppose. No, really. The time has been spent working, getting medical things taken care of, grocery shopping, playing with the girls. Driving to North Carolina, about 8 hours away, for Thanksgiving, staying with spouse’s family, visiting with his sister and parents and Beenie and Mimi’s cousin, Sophia. Making gluten/dairy-free pies and stuffing, chili and cornbread, chicken soup/stew. Lots of cooking. Lots of eating. I made a pumpkin pie yesterday, just because I never got enough of a chance to have pie for breakfast from the T’giving feasts. The one sitting in my fridge at the moment has a butter crust. Mmmmm… butter.

I am feeling a little bit crazy since I’ve had so little time to myself the past week or so. Last night and this morning I got a teenie bit of “me” time. Read about meditation without actually doing any before bed, then this morning when I woke up, I jumped into clothes and headed to the painting studio for the first time in what seems like two weeks. Splendid. The big flower piece is shaping up. The background is pink, which I think will glow once I apply the rustier, earthier layer on top of it. Defined a few edges today, in some of the petals, added a small, fluffy, feather-like element at the top of the piece, which should help balance the composition. Before there was just a little bit too much empty space on top. Now it makes sense. The feathery shape will become more a part of the background, methinks, but some kind of presence is needed at the top right. I was also able to get real aquariffic on the puddle painting this morning. Don’t know how much more I can describe the act. Suffice to say phalo green and blue were factors. I may be able to finish that piece by springtime. But who knows.

Puddle painting a few weeks ago. It changed significantly today. More green.

I got ANOTHER rejection letter, this time from a recent art grant application. For a few minutes I thought I might actually have gotten it — was able to semi-articulate my love and inspiration derived from Camera Morte, how I would spend the grant monies (time and space), and all of that crap. Am I barking up a dead horse? Is it possible Camera Morte is not an inspiration — no — LIFE ALTERING experience, like I think it is? I will not be beaten down on this, you jerks. I know it is something great, even if you don’t. Hell, add it to the pile of one million rejections. IT DOESN’T AFFECT ME! Well, actually, it does kind of bum me out. It would be so great to get a little extra something for art supplies and studio rental, or a nod from my arts community. The next grant deadline coming up is in early December, and I’m tempted to ignore it, since there isn’t a huge amount of new work to show. Why waste my time? I have so little time to spend on that kind of crap, it would be better spent making more art. Oh I don’t know.

I spent this morning, from 9:15 till 11:15 painting. I already wrote about that, eh? It was just… so… great! It is almost better to not have excess free time. Now when I go to paint, I contemplate the task before me, decide what color/s to work with in the next hour or two, then focus and paint. No time wasted, since there is absolutely no time to waste. It is baffling how much of my youthful artistic energy was spent NOT making a goddam thing, but just sitting around thinking or talking about ideas of what to do. Yes, I painted lots then, too, but I had few time constraints, and if it tickled my fancy, I could paint for a morning, take a lunch break, then paint the rest of the day. Hours and hours. Incredible luxury. Even when I was working crazy hours doing floral design, I still had plenty of extra time to waste. When you have children, there is no time to waste, unless you think time spent doing the parenting thing with them is a waste, which I do not. I’m talking idle hands, friends. With a capital ‘I’. Full ego immersion. At this point, what’s left of my ego has cheap sneaker footprints on it, and it is covered in yogurt and ketchup. Good riddance, I say. Me and me had plenty of good times. I think I like the more recent me better, though I am far more depressed than I used to be. But also, far less tortured. More, especially of late, truly enjoying communicating with my daughters, all three + three years of them. Making art helps, working helps, getting them into a preschool environment where I am not part of the goings on helps. Regular exercise would also, tremendously, help. That’s next on the list.

Do you ever think about the edges of things? In a way, when I’m painting, it is almost all I think about. How one color or line or color field meets another. Is the edge flat? or does it have a Raw Umber layer beneath an Indigo layer. Does the space betwixt layers vibrate? Is the edge alive?

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4 Comments

  1. Other than that I am not very artistic, at least when it comes to creating art, we sound pretty similar in the way we lived pre-children and the way we feel about it now. Such a mixed bag, glorious though it may be to enjoy watching someone new live his or her life.

  2. Three thoughts on edges:

    1) The way you speak of edges in your last paragraph reminds me of Juan Gonzalez and Patti Bellantoni, who both thought/taught about edges that way. For Juan, it was more about layers, lines, and materials meeting up; with Patti, it was about how one color against another created a third force in your eye/mind.

    2) My yoga instructor, Joely, talks about edges all the time. With yoga, you want to go just to the edge of your strength & flexibility then slowly creep beyond. If you feel pain, you are going too far and causing damage.

    3) I used to say about teaching that it shows you where your boundaries/edges are, in a sort of intellectual/emotional/interpersonal way. Interacting with students — esp., new groups of students every four months — shows you where your edges are as nothing else can. If you are good at teaching and/or enjoy it, those edges are constantly moving further away from your center.

    xo

  3. I think edges are where beauty happens. Where one meets another, the friction, dialogue and joining, all while maintaining boundaries. Just like kleio said.
    Paint on, sister!

  4. “Read about meditation without actually doing any before bed,” sounds about the way my life goes, too.
    Rejection letter is wrong. Camera morte creeps me out, but it’s definitely way cool, amazing, gorgeous, and worthwhile.

    Yay for painting!

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