Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Friction - A Catalyst for Creativity

Split Allegiance

Relationships change over time. My relationship with my mother has been pivotal in my life. She and I have been so close that our conversations could turn easily into marathons. This friendship has been a stable source of comfort, fun and mutual understanding for as long as memory serves. However, change comes even when we want desperately for everything to remain static. At first the difference was imperceptible. I could pretend I didn’t recognize that Mom’s memory was faltering. Sadly, a recent visit illustrated for me that pretending was not an option any longer. In fact, I knew that Mom had changed long before her stay with me, but the visit drove the point home decisively. Mom was still present in body, but part of her light was missing.

As an artist, I know that everything going on in my life can inform my work. Discomfort and friction can be a strong catalyst for creative initiative. I think perhaps it is no coincidence that my work took a dramatic shift following the most recent visit with Mom. Suddenly, I threw control and caution out the window and started throwing paint, spraying water and scratching my pastels in ways that I had never done before. I am having a terrific time with these pieces. They seem to be painting themselves, and my mind is drifting and sifting through other ways to incorporate this new way of working into future paintings. I am not sure why the pain of watching my mother’s decline pushed me in this direction. I can say that I am grateful to have something take my mind away from losing one of the most important people in my life mentally before she is taken from me physically.

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