It’s late for my yearly post about my art (art AND life. I don't separate them any longer) plans for the new year. That’s because I am moving into a new phase, one in which there are no clear roads and goals.
And that, for me now, is a GOOD thing. Control? Let it go.
The primary direction I’ll be taking, as I hoped it would be last year, will be inner. The work I’ll be making will come from me and not for jobs. There are millions of people who can make illustrations, but there is only one person who can paint the paintings that are inside me, waiting to take shape and draw breath.
Of course, this is close to what I said LAST year:
and some from the year before. I got off my intended track, but that, too, is life. Nothing is lost. I learned a lot.
As for my work, I (almost) don’t have a clue what’s waiting to be born and therein lies the excitement as well as the anxiety. I have the mountain series in mind, as with last year, and I’m going to get back to it. But maybe re-addressing this idea, to this point not fully realized, is itself just a step along the way, maybe it will point me in other directions, whatever and wherever they are.
To support this inward journey, I’m doing all sorts of things: meditating daily, reading widely on the topic of mindfulness meditation and lovingkindness meditation, books by Tara Brach and Pema Chödrön. I’m taking a year-long online course called Foundations of Wellbeing by Rick Hanson, author of another of my favorite books, Buddha’s Brain. I’m thrilled by all that we are learning about the brain and Rick Hanson, as a noted neuropsychologist and author of several books, is in the forefront of that field.
I’m walking a lot, as usual, working out, and eating really healthy things, even healthier than I always have.
I’m trying to demote myself from Type A to Type C, or at least to Type B-. My immune system is not fond of stress.
I’m continuing to keep my journal, my Big Fat Black Journal, as I call it. As I've said so many times, it is my true lifeline, connecting me with my deeper self and with all the richness as well as the scary awfulness of this world we share.
I’ll still be illustrating some, but only those things that speak to me, that make me happy, and that aren’t so time-consuming that I’m knocked sideways. Here's my illustration for the current issue of Charleston Style & Design. I'm working on another for the spring issue, even as we speak. The people there are a joy to work with.
I’ll be teaching some drawing classes and leading sketching sessions at the Nasher Museum again. My focus in the fall series will be drawing with nontraditional materials.
Some of my work will be in two books to be published this year. More details as I know them.
I’ll be experimenting some with making my own paints and pigments and drawing materials and supports from natural materials. This interest comes from my growing awareness of the importance of place to me. I would like to draw and paint with the materials that are literally derived from the numinous places of my life. And I’m going to travel to some of those numinous places, too.
I’m taking a silk-screen workshop and I’m keeping my antennae up for other new learning experiences, new ways to make art.
It’s 2016 and this is my one and only life. I’m raising my hand now and I’m saying, “Here.”
Happy 2016 to you. May you find peace, love, fulfillment this year and every year.