What a great assignment this week for me. I can see how the weeks are building upon each other to become a clearer picture.
This week has taken me back to the original question I came to this class with, finding MY way of self-expression, my art being in alignment with who I am. In previous weeks, I accepted that I can choose the medium I work in according to the needs of what I want to express. That I could “do it all”. But, I had to back pedal. It seems I also crave to sink my teeth fully into something, rather than jump from one to another. So I look at what I am good at and what I enjoy. What do I like doing in the studio? I’ve discovered I like a process that I can learn new skills, solve problems, and not worry about expectations. Perhaps that is why I like to jump around, staying a novice in all. I believe it is called “beginners mind”. But, I am taking this class because I am not happy with this approach to my art. I want to relax into a main medium to focus on. Be known and associated with one medium…what kind of artist am I? I can give myself permission to do other things, but I need a main focus, so that when I walk into the studio I don’t have to make a decision about what whether to get my glass tools or my paints out, or should I sew or embroider, or should I have a gardening day. I’m getting old, I have no time to dawdle and flit around because I find this approach very unsatisfying.
The most natural and easy choice for me is mosaic. I love the process of it, I am pretty good at it, I have much room for growth, and it aligns with my goals for the future, and my mosaics always seem to find a home because someone likes them. I have a “boathouse studio” at our cottage. That space is reserved for mosaic. I have a wonderful time when we are there, knowing my limits and focusing on mosaicking. I think this is a natural and good choice for both up north and at my home studio. I hope that some of my other interests will become less important, and the art of mosaic will engage me. Not that I have to stop doing them completely, but I know where my main focus is. So, perhaps I have settled this issue of medium. I sure hope so, the wrestling around is exhausting. This decision will involve letting go of some committee members expectations,(just a side note). This is difficult when it involves people you love and respect and who want you to be deeply involved in their “community”.
One other note on alignment. I find that alignment in art is connected to alignment in other areas in my life. One example from this week: I working hard to meet my commitments and find more studio time. This is very exciting. So exciting that I stay awake thinking about the next day and then getting up very early to start working. I’m tired and sleep deprived! Taking care of one’s self, meeting other responsibilities and commitments are also very necessary for alignment in the studio.
The idea of sitting with my work and studying it dispassionately also engaged me. I sat with my most recent piece. I researched a bit, and have a list of questions I can ask about the artwork. I found this most useful and a great starting point in preparation for “what’s next”. I would like to return to my previous practice of having a file of completed art work, but this time I will add my own notes of critique.