I'm having a contemplative Sunday...
Working on this sketchbook project has been quite gratifying, and I'm not done yet! I've been learning quite a bit about myself, and some about my audience, perhaps.
The feed back I've been getting from everyone is uplifting. I am especially moved by hearing how something I've put out there has touched another, or reminded them of something within themselves. Over and over again these experiences help me to remember how interconnected we are.
To truly know ourselves is to 'know' everyone!
I have heard from several people (beyond comments here) that the tone of my work has become more positive, more spiritual, that it has changed recently. This gave me pause, and for the past few days I've been thinking about it, and wondering - has it, really?
I started to feel like a bit of a fraud - because this past week has been, well, one of my worst. To start, I have only been out of the house 5 times since my surgery on October 21st, and this is beginning to make me near crazy! I also have rashes spreading their burning rage across my torso, joints screaming at me, my back feeling like I just had the surgery a week ago- spasms echoing sharply down my legs and into my feet, the relentlessness of tinnitus which sounds a bit life having 400 cicadas living in my brain, waking from the 3-4 restless hours of sleep I get, to ice pick piercing head aches... and then I make my art, which happens to have a deadline. You see, the Sketchbook Project piece must be postmarked by February 15th. I have to finish it, to be included, and I'd really like to be included! So I wondered - if I were working solely in my journal now, would it look anything like this little gem of a book?!
I had thrown in a little balance (in my eyes) to all the reflective, calming, peaceful imagery, and included images depicting the experiences of life that we tend to judge as 'bad'. I admit, they got a bit lost in the subtle mix, and perhaps they were seen, just not mentioned
- but I'll point out a few...This young woman had suffered greatly, and was featured in the NYTimes as a "needy" case, due to the poverty and abuse she had been through so far in her short life...
here we have a cultural hero -
a basketball star.
He probably has it all, right? Well, maybe not,
given what we see nearly daily in the headlines about our sports "heros"...
... another mourner,
... and then there's the dying of starvation and disease in Africa, not to mention in much of the world...
I realize that you all are aware of these life experiences - some of you may be in the midst of many yourselves. I'm just sharing where my brain's been going.
I have also become aware that my art is a place people come to for that lift - for a break from visions of suffering and pain, or for something deeper than eye candy. Though eye candy has it's place - I surround myself with lots of it! And yesterday's critter images filled my need to just be goofy and play and take a break from my self...
So, what's this all about Karin ? What's your point?! and why tell us???
1 - the Sketchbook Project is art for the masses, not my personal journal, so I chose images that I hoped would appeal more universally. I did not feel that putting my own suffering in these pages would be appropriate.
2 - In reality, this has been one of my personally most difficult weeks in a long time, even though my art isn't showing it - so maybe that's why the feeling of being a fraud is roaring through me.
3 - images of struggle, pain, and possibly less uplifting themes will be coming back, once I return to my personal journal.
I feel so amazingly fortunate that the one way that I can make my physical experiences become a shadow in my consciousness, rather than in the forefront, is through my art. Even though this may be presumptuous of me, I need say, in case anyone out there is putting me on any kind of pedestal because of my art or what it expresses - take me off of it right now!
What you don't see are the frustrations, tears, screams, and struggles. It isn't all peaceful flow, especially starting out! Thankfully, that is where it leads me. I'd probably need a whole lot of drugs if it didn't!! It also wouldn't be fair to compare - this is all I do. I do not have children, I do not have a job outside of the home, and I do have a husband that has a job he loves that compensates him well. I am extremely fortunate in all of this, which allows me the luxury to delve, deeply, into my art and self at this time.
Each of us has a history, a present, a journey, but all we truly know is a bit of our own - not even all of it, since much of it is shared with others, and only they know that bit, truly.
If you've read this far, thank you! I know this blog is titled Beyond Words, and I try to speak through my art, but words came to me today, that I felt the need to express. I hope they come through with the intent they are written.
I leave you with a sharing of my sister's blog, at http://stillmover.blogspot.com
Her recent post about judging vs being (well, that's my interpretation anyway) strikes me as related.
With love and appreciation for you all,