It's early Sunday morning as I write this. The delicious, protracted hiatus of holidays and my January birthday is about to end and, oh, it's been a heavenly two weeks! I have loved (mostly) every second of it... the quiet (mostly), dark, pulling-in time of the year is my time.
For the first time in two years, I haven't had the sword of Damocles in the form of a big show hanging over my head as I start the year... and no small deadlines for now, either. Just my beautiful new Paolo de Faveri Alpine wall calendar hanging in my studio to inspire me and one more day to get that studio ready for painting paintings.
This new year is a gift and I want to make sure I use it well and wisely.
And it's clear to me that using it well will be to be mostly inner-directed in my work.
I am full of excitement and very unformed ideas about how to respond to the places I have fallen in love with recently... the Scandinavian world, the alpine world. Oh, those Italian Dolomites that I loved for themselves but also for how they brought back the best of my childhood memories of time spent in the Swiss/French alps! There is a deep, pervasive energy in that northern world, a primal source for my life, that sets me vibrating like a divining rod.
Part of this inner direction will be... to let go and see where my heart takes me. When I was making paintings for my Iceland-inspired show year before last, I had as my mantra the Icelandic line, Hvert liggur thessi vegur? Where, then, does this path lead?
I had little idea of what sort of work would come out of my passion for Iceland and Norway and I accepted and ran with that unknowing.
Last year about this time, I wrote the post Cutting Up and Letting Go. (In my ten years of blogging, I've made a habit each year of posting my intentions for the coming year.) There I made the case for again running with the unknowing, for following my inner sign posts. But it didn't quite happen. I had lots of deadlines and obligations.
In that post from last year, too, I talked about how much I love the materiality of my work, the textures, the shapes, the colors that can, if I do it right, appear on my paper and my gesso board. They have a life of their own. It's my job to open my arms and catch them.
In addition to painting, I'll, of course, be drawing and sketching. Drawing has been a major part of who I am since I was 3 years old, if not before.
So this year. Feeling more humble and grateful for the gift of another year, less breezy and complacent, I'm ready to run down that path, not knowing where it leads, but knowing I have to go there.
May 2015 take you where you want and need to go.