I'm working on another piece along with the girls on lightrail. I go back and forth between the two, working in aspects from whatever lesson Ross and I have going. I believe this one reflects a lesson in facial planes. This young woman graces me every now and then to work out her creative kinks. A student and a writer, she is exploring her visual side lately and finding that she really loves painting. Nice, because it gave me a chance to give and take. In my painting she is captured exploring watercolor in my home studio. She turns to reference a guide of human proportion that I hung for her. She is working at the mirror because the piece she is doing is a self portrait. Everything else is loosely roughed in at the moment, and I'm still going back and forth about object placement and symbolism. All of those things may change, but what I captured in her, at this moment stays put. Oblivious to me, or anything else except the creating she is about, she makes the best kind of subject. An intense one!
As with the young women on lightrail, there is a bit of my own private narrative happening here as well. I've spent so much time in the past year reflecting, looking back, making a study of my experiences to this point, deciding on how I want this next leg of my journey to begin, and in this piece this bit of recent history is very present. The bareness the artistic process brings out is a thing of beauty in itself. It fascinates me about my own work, and that of other artists. Here also is the heart of the artists vulnerability. Or perhaps bravery? What is it for you? To flay yourself open, and then be mounted for the .. acceptance? .. rejection? .. apathy? .. money? who can honestly know? of others. I mean, we make art because we must. If we don't we are simply not living a full life. It's like not using a limb - it will atrophy if not exercised! My husband and I crack up about how much happier I am if I've had time at the easel - how even if he plays the drums for hours, the fatigue he feels is charged with energy because he has worked out the music!
I'm finding that we have to take care of ourselves in this way, as much as we do any other part of our lives. This part has to thrive too. I think when we do - take care that is - we decide weather or not we are going to be brave or vulnerable.