a page from one of my flooded journals
And of course, life is about loss and renewal. You can't go through life without experiencing loss. It's impossible. I've been listening to Carolyn Myss' audio when I'm in the studio about how life is about the reversal of life, meaning having your life turned inside out and upside down and what you do with it then. It's about choice even when it seems that you had no choice in the matter.
This year, I've learned to instead choose the words "Letting Go" instead of just "Loss". It's softer, more forgiving, it's about going forward.
I mentioned before that several artists contacted me when they found out about what happened earlier this year and gave me such encouragement through sharing their similar experience of losing much of their own property through floods, fire, or other natural disasters. Thomas Frank, a fellow FUSEDChicago member, suggested to me to think of it as a chance to start anew and to create a new work space and work from scratch. A clean slate. Paula Roland told me of the choices we make after being on the receiving end of destructive natural occurrences. Some of her work is a beautiful and sensual dialogue with those experiences.
Black Eyed Susans, letting go, cycle of life
I was thinking of all of this when I finally got some time to sit down this week with Catherine Nash's ebook/dvd called Authentic Visual Voices: Contemporary Paper and Encaustic that she so kindly sent me to start building up my media library after the flood. I was watching David Clark's interview and it was one of those moments where I guess it's what they call synchronicity. What he says during the interview really resonated with me. He says in his artist statement in the ebook "Loss and destruction can be devastating, but they also have the ability to renew and transform".
Catherine's book addresses how artists communicate their ideas as well as how they came to their ideas. Such wonderful insight. The video interviews were done in the artists' studios, so it's really such an intimate peek into the work, the space, as well as the creative well that they draw upon. I highly recommend this DVD video ebook which can be viewed on your computer if you have Adobe 7.0.
I am honored to have had one of my encaustic paintings selected for the gallery section at the end of the book. Catherine also included one of the collaborative books that I did with Hanne Matthiesen M(Other) Love in her lecture at the 7th Annual International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, Massachusetts earlier this year in June. Her lecture focused on these questions and issues:
What do artists make their art about? What contemporary issues do artists address in their work? Gaining expertise in technique is only a first step. Our goal is to create truly innovative, authentic art that resonates with such things as our core beliefs, our curiosity or our emotional self. With the emphasis on content rather than technique, this pertinent lecture will present international artists who push the boundaries of encaustic while addressing current trends in contemporary art.
Truly honored to have been included. That collaborative book on a mother's love/love of self was such a release for me. Often in my work, I am not even aware that I am working things out during the creative process until I am done. Working things out, pulling it all together in a way for myself to grasp. And then release. Let go. Renew.
the door into my new studio
So grateful every time I step across this threshold and marvel at where I am today. Working on some deadlines and preparing for my upcoming Red Thread Retreat encaustic workshop (still a few spots if you want to join us!), but soon I will be back to painting. This blog will get back on track with art posts, rather than all this processing out, although the processing is so necessary for me! It feels so good to be in the studio finally. Life is settling in. It feels good to be in the studio finally. Life is settling in.
Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future. – Daphne Rose Kingma