Sunday, September 13, 2009

Note: My article, "Discovering Your Voice by Experimenting" and images of my art are featured in the September issue of the Strathmore Artists Papers Newsletter. The publication can be viewed online in PDF format. Hope you enjoy it!

This week's featured painting, "Life Clippings #1" is an acrylic on rag painting. Rendered in a collage style, this work is meant to resemble torn papers, which in addition to my frequent imagery of cups, is a commentary about life. This painting depicts the constant states of being, sleeping and watching. It is housed in the Velma A. Walker Collection in Huntsville, Alabama through Birmingham A&M University.

Balancing Solitude and Socializing

This past week found me in the company of others almost every day, all day, both businesswise and socially. At day's end, every night last week, it seemed, I feebly struggled to paint while my body protested, "No, no! I want to rest! Give me rest, silly woman!" Being no fool and knowing I had
pushed myself too far, I quietly put myself to bed each night, wishing to sleep at least fifteen hours. But I can only do six at a stretch, ya'll.

Now, I know some folk who are definitely in their element being in a group as much as possible, but I simply am not wired that way. If I don't get regular time to be alone with myself, I become snarky, snappy and sluggish. I welcome solitude, enjoy it and am quite productive when working alone.

An introvert? Nah. Definitely an extrovert who is introspective, silly and sensitive. I love giving parties, being in crowds and conversing with new people, but there must be a balance of solitude if I am to be happy.

My solitary activities not only include sleeping, but painting (of course), thinking about painting or doing some other enjoyable activity, such as cooking, watching a good movie, listening to music or simply curling up in a chair and reflecting. When I do these things, I feel refreshed and relaxed.

I feel that we need to share our time by being in the company of others, yet we also need time to be alone with ourselves.

It's not always so easy to carve time for myself because of mundane tasks that must be completed, and because the business of being an artist sometimes demands more time than I want to give.

I am curious to hear how others balance their social lives with time spent alone, and how important is solitude to you?