the eyes have it
My life is all about the visual. It always has been. In my daily work I focus on art and visuals (how lucky I am in my work) and I spend time in a gorgeous 30,000 square foot visual art center with many other creative souls of all disciplines.
As an artist I am always looking for that next visual reference... a curve of a back or arm, a gesture, a casual pose. As a creative soul I look for the beauty in every moment, a sunny (or cloudy) day, shades of green seen only in nature, beautiful scenery and wildlife in the most outrageous colors, the riotous color of a crowded city street. I am one of those who believes every human being is beautiful in one way or another, each person unique and special somehow. Everybody young and old is a painting.
In museums, gardens and galleries I can (and often do) become visually overloaded with information because I am taking everything in, including the setting and people around me. The memory issues associated with PTSD never have affected my visual memory, and that is a huge blessing and something I am grateful for every day. I remember the most amazing visuals with acute detail, and perhaps that is why I have not carried around a sketchbook everywhere more often in my life.
On adventures with Virginia there are camera days, and 'being' days, and sometimes I don't know which sort of day it will be until I am in the middle of it. My floral paintings are as much about the smells and sounds that surrounded the original view of the flower as they are about the flower itself. The calla studies are all about the feeling of Southern California and Northern Mexico... the clear light, richness of color, and peace that I found there. I think it must be that way for many artists, but I have never asked any artist friends the question. I assume that applies to writers and musicians too....... it is all a part of the same pie. I will never have the opportunity to paint all the paintings waiting to be painted in my head.
I am most grateful for my eyes that see and my hands that create, this is the one thing I do that feels right in my soul.... no matter how it is received by others. It is the one journey I was meant to take in this lifetime, a journey inward and outward, all at once. I have been thinking about my creative journey a lot recently, brought on by some recent events. The self-doubt that has always plagued every other aspect of my life has never encroached here, and I am working through some thoughts and feelings through introspection.
Some who read here regularly know what this is all about.... but the details don't really matter, they just are. They still feel too tender to talk about too much. I have been given a gift of clarity and an opportunity to take my creative journey in any direction that I choose to, and some soul-searching never hurt anybody :) much. I have often heard it said that artists and creative types FEEL things so much more than other people, a gift and sometimes a curse I would think.
Above all else I am an artist, and have seen with these same eyes through lifetimes, and that will not change. What I do with this gift is up to me, and I choose (as I always do) to move ever forward.... a little older, hopefully wiser each year, a compilation of my experiences and circumstances - but never a victim of them.
Life is grand.
the Artsy Essay for May