Sunday, August 30, 2009

Spitituality, Love and Art/ Part III

It has often been said that art imitates life. While this adage refers to subject matter of art relating to life, it has been my experience that the actual process of making art imitates life, particularly in the area of spritual development. The process of making art sometimes mirrors the struggle inherent in developing oneself spirititually.

I say this because, like life, the making of art is not always seamless or effortless. More often, it is about having an idea or vision and then struggling to bring that vision into being in the form in which it was conceived. This happens even when you love painting as much as I do.

Throughout the painting process, my emotions might range from joy and excitement to frustration and questioning, the same as with life. I have found this to be particularly true during the crucial last stages of striving to resolve a painting. The interaction between my technical knowledge, emotional responses, the responses of the paint itself and my brush strokes are a continuous balancing act. Any snags are most likely to occur toward the end, as I am seeking to achieve harmony of vision.

I admit that there have been times when I have painted pictures without any struggle whatsoever. But there have also been times requiring much looking and questioning, much putting aside and returning later.

In choosing to live a life of conscious spiritual development, that is, doing the internal work necessary to become a better person, I "go back to the drawing board," as it were, many times to seek answers from my higher self relative to daily life. As is often the case with art, no answers are forthcoming.

In explaining these similarities, it is not my intention to give a pat answer. There is much more that could be said on this subject. However, time and space does not permit me to expound. I will say that six months was the longest time that I've put a painting away and come back to resolve it. The solution was simple, but I needed to distance myself from the work. That particular painting won an award, by the way.

The longest time I've ever struggled to resolve a spiritual question within myself was about the same length of time as I tried to get along with a co-worker whom I disliked. Once I told myself that I had no answer, and decided to simply detach myself (politely), I realized that I had actually found the answer.

The last part of this series is about love as it relates to spirituality and art.

The Week in Gratitude #2

I am grateful for the following:

- My granddaughter's visit last Sunday. If not for her, we would not have walked to the pool and enjoyed ourselves for almost three hours on a hot, muggy afternoon.

-Having the energy to get lots of tasks completed this past week. I still have lots more to do before my Open Sutdio Show.

-Not worrying this week. Although there is lots to worry about, I simply did not do it, and my body thanked me.

- The August issue of "O" magazine, a gift subscription from my daughter. There was a wonderful article about a Washington, D.C. woman who collects African-American art. Wonderful works. Great article.

- The thrift shops I found here in Ann Arbor last weekend, especially loved the unusual items. I enjoy decorating with both new and old things.

- All the outstanding artists' websites I recently visited. Viewing the art of others is exciting. Some of the calligraphy artists' works blew my mind. I went to some unpacked boxes and pulled out several works of framed calligraphy that I have never shown. I was pleased with them, and plan to hang them at my Open Studio Show.

-These songs made me happy this week: "Baby, Can I Hold You Tonight?"/Tracy Chapman; "Love"/Sugarland; "Summertime"/Miles Davis; "But Not for Me"/Ella Fitzgerald