For years I've collected things that intrigued me. From many of nature's creations, to packing materials, to sayings and quotes, to old images, cards, tons of photos, and sounds and images burned into my memory. All of these I thought someday would be incorporated into my work. One quote I have kept in the studio over the past 30 years is "Don't wait for your ship to come in....swim out to it". I don't know who originally said it. It has been the motto for way I live my life. I haven't sat much, I am impatient with myself and am rarely satisfied with whatever I am creating, until it is complete. I am easily distracted by an idea, concept, color, shadow, or effect of light that crosses my path, processing how I could recreate it in my work.
This last year has been a major turning point in my life and work. I have been forced to sit for long periods of time, because of illness, and couldn't paint for quite some time. The abstract expressionists have become my constant companions through DVD's and reading volumes. I have filled entire sketchbooks, reviewed and revised, written copious content notes, looking at everything with a new eye and a sharper focus. Conceptualization is at the forefront of my thoughts. I've created over and over in my mind eye the works that are very slowly coming into being. Creation is a process similar to birth. It is often a long, arduous, glorious process that upon completion can leave you speechless and in awe. For me, my work is moving in a new exciting direction, because I was forced to really become attentive to the details in a way I hadn't allowed myself to do before.
The other night I dreamt I was in a warehouse full of my paintings. There were literally hundreds waiting to be shipped out. I loved what I saw and wanted to paint every one when I awoke. With every day I am getting healthier, the drive to paint is getting stronger and harder to hold back. These days I believe I am swimming out towards the ship, laying in new paintings and working on those in progress, a few hours a day, and when my ship does come in to port, it will have a full shipment on board! I am grateful for the opportunity to see the world in a an exciting new way.
Rilke said:"Be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms.... "Live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then, gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."