Friday, January 6, 2012

The Seeds of Dreams


I walked into my studio earlier this week and was met with stacks of boxes upon boxes filled with my supplies and the paintings produced during the summer months (that my husband so kindly drove down for me just before xmas) as well as boxes of brand new canvas that just arrived...and quickly shut the door and went home. It was too much to deal with. Sometimes when you just want to paint the work it takes to get there seems like a thick, brick wall. 

Then yesterday I went back in and, without a plan, went about moving, tossing, moving, tossing and ended up going in circles. Luckily a few of my artist friends appeared and, looking at me, then my space and the piles and back again started laughing. Need help? They stayed long enough to point and measure and helped me come up with a plan of attack.

And by six pm I was just about half way there, with enough progress to sit down and relax a bit. As I looked around I felt good being able to finally see the studio as a studio again and the itch to get back at it was gnawing at me. But after pushing a tall, retired TV armoire around the cement floor of my studio, by myself, TWICE (I use it to store my art supplies and art books, seemed like a good idea at the time); and after filling and hauling a large, 4-wheeled cart to the dumpsters I still was able to feel joy and mused to myself about this art life. How I had dreamed and imagined painting every day to music and being in that “zone” and how I never fully realized (do we ever?) the amount of behind the scenes “work” that goes into this life. This led me, just for a brief second, to think about my past life where I had an assistant and remembered reading about a successful painter that now has a number of assistants to do this kind of work for him and...then I quickly stood up, brushed these silly thoughts aside and got back to reality mumbling, “Jeepers, Christine, get over yourself!”  I mean it was just a year ago that I was to able to move into my own studio in the first place!?! But from somewhere back in my brain a whisper let out while I was carrying another heavy box out to my car, “Well maybe, maybe I’ll keep the “successful artist” part of that assistants dream.” I grinned, looked across my studio floor at all of the work behind and ahead of me, pulled up a clean canvas, turned up the music and....

P.S. I took the above photo of a sunflower farm near my summer studio as reference for a future painting and last week while I was talking with my collector friend, Ellen about planning for an upcoming show she remembered this photo and said, "don't forget to paint the sunflowers!" With that seed of an idea in mind, here’s a very cool video that shows how the artist Ai Weiwei worked with an entire team of people to help him create his very own Sunflower Seeds. Enjoy!










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