Everything stops cold in summer. The flow of life seems to lazily drift to a halt, like a boat that runs out of gas. I find it frustrating. It takes twice the effort to get anything done in this season because we push against an invisible force of resistance. Except for the Jersey Shore I've always felt that summer is way overrated. Once it begins I start to count the days until golden light of autumn.
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It is a grand notion to think of suburbia as being monumental. Normally perceived in daily life, it seems like a monotonous parade of one block after another, one lawn after the next. If one is attracted to the grandiose, suburbia can often be numbing
I'm trying to figure out exactly why I love the Hipstamatic app for my iPhone so much. Perhaps making images with it is more like play than work. When I fell in love with photography it was with the magic of image capture. The technology, the craft, the brain full of details all came later. It was the snapshot that got me hooked, not that five-hour sessions in the studio with complex lighting and large-format cameras.
Creativity is like a fickle lover. Just when you think you have it figured out you realize you know nothing about it at all. It's like waking up to an empty bed after a night of passion. Creativity comes and goes according to its own agenda. We are nothing more than conduits. The best we can do is show up for it. We certainly cannot control it.
Being an artist is a lonely adventure. There are times when the truth about one's art can only be found in solitude. All the blabbing and chatter that go along with being a social animals gets in the way of seeing. And feeling. The light is in the aloneness which, paradoxically results in the ultimate in connection. More times than not, when we are socializing, our egos are front-and-center. But, egos and art are a deadly combination. Nothing destroys pure creativity more quickly than worrying about what others think. So, aloneness is key to connecting oneself to the universal energy that is the mystery of creativity.
Dabbling in artistic discovery eventually drives me back to my more formal work. I can always feel it. At a certain point while drifting down the river I feel the need for structure. I crave a mooring, maybe even some solid land. Desolation's Comfort is a body of work that began with my MFA graduate show in 2007. On and off, I return to it, for it is the work that seems to express my most inner place. Today, I am back again.
Every artist has periods of frenzied creativity, times when the work pours out faster than it can be processed. After such a period comes the inevitable, fallow gap of nothingness. One stares at a blank canvas, a blank piece of paper, a blank screen, a blank world. There simply isn't anything there.
Lots of people I meet want to be artists. What they don't realize is that they already are. We come into this life bursting with creativity—enthusiastic little art creatures. Then it gets drummed out of us. Little by little, we get serious. We stop making art. But, creativity is our natural state and one day it starts to gnaw at us. We look around and all the castles we've built are hollow without creative expression.
The creative process has the same ebbs and flows as does the sea. The cycles come and go, the artist a mere conduit to some strange force pulling at the brain and psyche. When one surrenders to the artistic process, one allows the nature of presence to show up in the work. Forcing things never works. Usually a bad art day can be traced back to trying too hard and pushing too strongly. Sometimes the work wants lightness and air, sometimes it seeks the lowest point and wants to go past the dark edge. Allowing is the key. What is, is.
Yesterday I just finished designing and developing my new web site. It was an exhausting process that consumed me towards the end. Late in the afternoon, unshaven and bleary-eyed, I uploaded the files to my server and, like wizardry, the site went live.