It always seems when one is creating in any capacity we become more like Alchemists putting together seemingly basic elements of human existence to create this rare, precious, one of a kind element. It is a seemingly daunting task filled with the excitement and frustration that comes with discovery and invention. It makes one feel constructive. But after a contenting sigh of a constructive high comes a threat of a cloudy sky. It seems a price to pay when one is creating “magic”.
It is a grand journey which requires visits not only to light places but shadow ones as well. Creating is like walking through an Epic. Sometimes one must face some monsters too. Not to sound so dark. It really is a constructive place to go to get to the heart of the matter. It takes great courage, some pride swallowing, and checking the ego at the door. One also must face it alone. The path of an Artist is a lonely one. No wonder we can appear crazy or odd at times. But despite all of this we can live no other way. Ignoring it hurts more than diving in and facing it all, even the dark scary parts. To keep the balance one must create. To save the planet, one must create. To survive, one must create. It is a huge responsibility but the melancholy that can come with it never lasts too long and the reward is great!
A canvas is a mirror into an Artist’s Soul. When I stand before a blank canvas I am not sure what to expect. I pick up my brush and find I become more like a scryer searching for a vision within a mirror than a painter applying paint to canvas. Time passes, I step back and find myself looking at my painting for the first time usually surprised of what I find there.
My female Knight has stood on my easel for about a year and a half now. She stands about 4 feet tall mostly charcoal. Her helmet and part of her breastplate are half heartily painted in. A painted grinning dragon sits at her feet. She stands confident despite her creator looking on from time to time not really sure how to move forward next. This is a trial painting. They take a long time to complete. (This certainly has been the longest trail painting for me.) Usually when they are completed they reveal a great mystery of self and I find my creative voice much stronger for it.
In the meantime I have moved on experimenting with smaller canvas using other media such as acrylic paint. I admit acrylic is not my favorite. Acrylic is sticky, stiff, dries to quickly. I religiously paint with oils which seem more earthy, more malleable…it almost breathes! But in order for an Artist to grow one must experiment. Acrylic is different and challenging allowing me to discover a new voice, new aspects of self. These exercises will be useful when I am ready to return to my female Knight: painter’s warrior. She proudly stands tall, confidant I will return to her very soon. The dragon at her feet grins on smiling still.
My birthday was this past Thursday: April 30th. It was a milestone birthday. You know, one of those birthdays they make cards for the starts with a number and ends in “0”! While I’m not one of those women who can’t stand to admit her age, I’m not going to wave it around unless otherwise asked. As children we wear age like a golden badge. Even when we are not asked we’ll excitingly squeal our name and age. We’ll even add a 1/2 to it to show how grown and mature we are. When do we lose that enthusiasm?
I was raised with Birthdays filled with celebration, color, and excitement. No matter what the budget we always managed to make the celebration priceless! Early birthdays (when I was old enough to request how to celebrate them) I would spend the day at the circus. Barnum & Bailey Circus would be playing at Madison Square Garden around my birthday so for a good handful of years (until they stopped being in town for my birthday) I would be sitting in the stands with a laser flashlight in one hand, perhaps some cotton candy in the other, my eyes soaking in countless wonders within the three rings to the point I would grow dizzy with giddy! I almost determined right then and there I would be a clown when I grew up (the program booklet advertised a Clown College….but I think my dreams moved on elsewhere….)
As I got older, birthdays at home became family traditional. No matter if you were celebrating your 5th or 50th birthday by dinnertime you had the pleasure of a decorated chair (a dining chair decorated with odds and ends of fabric and sparkly stuff), a “crown” (or perhaps I should say headpiece made with more odds and ends that could be larger than your head or a simple headband), a sceptre/magic wand (how else can one make a wish that can come true?) and family good wishes to make you all warm and fuzzy inside!
Birthdays as you get older can be met with bittersweet feelings. They bring about a cause for reflection. Try analyzing and reflect on yourself and not feel a little blue! But I admit this year, a milestone year, I greeted my birthday with almost an enthusiastic vigor of a kid of 10. I can’t say when October 30th rolls around I will be raving I am a half year older, but I am determined to move forward with a childlike enthusiasm and openness! Life is about celebration and there is a lot for me to celebrate!