Friday, August 31, 2012

being present

A week in San Francisco has offered many art opportunities, and even though I haven’t touched brush to canvas, I feel quite connected to my work. There are many reasons for this. Meg and I visited three museums (SFMoMA, the Legion of Honor, and the DeYoung) and in each one I saw works that resonated with me. Two different art supply stores, FLAX and Arch, offered a richness of materials that opened up creative possibilities. I met Phyllis to talk art and stroll around a small art district in Berkeley.  I sketched with Meg every evening, and I worked on my artist statement (see post of August 20th).  All in all, I don’t feel that I have been that far away from my studio, and that is unusual for me when I travel. There has been active engagement with the artistic world every day, and I have actively “worked” on my own art in some way or another.

I’d like to make this a permanent change. I would love to carry my artist-self at the front of my awareness in my daily life.  For whatever reason, I haven’t done this so far.  In the past, being in my artist mind has distracted me, and I can’t live my life in a distracted state. But maybe there is an alternative. Maybe I can have my artistic consciousness, as it were, traveling alongside me, passive (not distracting) but alert. My art muse riding on my shoulder, looking out for opportunities even while my main awareness is cooking, cleaning, visiting, playing cello, studying Spanish.

As I think about this, I see additional advantages. I want to delve deeper into the details of the geography that I want to portray, and being more constantly aware through artistic eyes of my surroundings would certainly help. I want to find new methods and materials to express myself, and staying alert to such possibilities as I move through my days would undoubtedly feed the process. I want to find ways to express inner reactions and sensations in my work, and the only way this will happen is to become aware of them in the first place, and consider how to express them as they happen.

The image above, a Rauschenberg, fills an entire wall at SFMoMA with its structure and energy.

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