The Raggedy Edge

Posted: October 22, 2011 in painting adventures
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Anything really worth doing in our lives will always have some fear attached to it.- unknown

When we stand on that raggedy edge and gaze out over the horizon, our hearts swell with the view before our eyes. We are overwhelmed by the vastness of the potential, confused by our place in the picture we see, not understanding how our presence, though small and seemingly insignificant, is indeed a clog that keeps the machinery of humanity moving forward.

Upon that realization comes the fear.

If an artist in his work has no fear, I believe they reach a point of stagnation, for they remain doing the same thing every day of their lives. Never stretching their imagination, their hearts, their souls, to find that “something else” beyond their current reality. They reach a level of professional security and safety and stop at that point of success and are unwilling to travel to the raggedy edge and view their future potential.

I have gone to that edge so many times. Gone, turned around and returned, thinking I was not good enough, not worthy enough, missing something that would allow me to take that next step. My eyes blinded on how to change, what to change and indeed, if I could change. I wanted someone, anyone, to tell me; but silence was the returned gift and I was forced to be patient.

Everything in its own time I always told myself….in its own time.

Then four weeks ago something clicked. A series of events that opened a door inside of me.  I found a part time job!!!  One of my paintings was accepted for print in a contemporary arts magazine, unbeknownst to me a total stranger made a video of my women, I saw a photo of a mixed media sculpture of two horses emerging from the wall and I saw a drawing by a Russian artist that took my breath away, all within a few days.   Then my dearest of friends, artist and peer, sent me a note saying she had changed her professional name and her style. She was nearing that point I went though years before where the world begins to tire of the sameness of your work. Her solution was quite perfect.

I became enthused for something I could not name.  What could I do to refresh, re-invent, rejuvenate my work? I had to start over with different eyes, different pallet, perhaps face my fear of the color blue. There had to be different women, real women in unreal places.  Hahaha! A bit of madness overtook me; I chewed on that thought for days, I dreamt of the questions.  I paced the studio floor.  I did not have the vast unlimited talent of my friend, the time, the funds, the network, but I did have the ability and the desire to change.

Walking into my studio I looked at the surreal allegory in progress on the easel. Out came my sander. I sanded down the paint, re-applied gesso, put it in the sun to dry. I had to work the next day at my newly found job, so toes tapping I waited until my day off.  I had searched though my sketchbooks for pieces of things I could use and that morning I began, 8 hours later I had the beginnings and my heart was beating fast.

This is where it starts, I thought, this was acceptance of myself. Pink Petals is the first of a new series of women. I thought I was finished with my women, and I was……. the other women. These would be women not from my head, but from faces of friends and acquaintances who came into my life and left me the gift of their friendship…… and they will be seated in part of my world. This first painting (above) is a composite of all my sisters.

I had conquered my fear of blue, I had conquered my stagnation, my wandering……..the adventure can continue.



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