It’s been a very long time since my last blog post and the reason being was that I wasn’t sure what type of conversation I wanted to have with anyone who wanted to read what I put out into the world. What I would like to share is a personal story that has been unraveling over the past few months. Back in September of this year, I experienced a significant health issue that made me question whether I would experience my life as I’d always known, because of limitations that were potentially going to become my everyday realities. I wasn’t going to die, but I got scared enough that I asked myself the question, if I did, what would I want to leave the world? I knew immediately what the answer was. I want the world to have my art. It’s the purest form of my personal expression, as a unique extension of my heart and soul. A gift that channels through me via an intelligence far greater than I can understand.
My health scare improved over time, but in those early days full of uncertainty, I found myself driving to the art store and buying the largest wood canvases that they had on hand, which consisted of some 36” x 36” wood panels. I had never worked on anything that size before, but the sense of urgency that I felt by the unknown, catalyzed my desire to no longer “play small.” Both in terms of physical dimensions and psychological limitations. I’d already done that for a lot my life and there wasn’t much room for growth in that space. These larger canvases felt like new opportunities.
In the days and now months that have followed, it has been a life-changing experience—to create art at a larger scale. It’s only potentially intimidating the first time you find yourself going bigger! Now I just want to go larger and larger, with no regard for whether someone will want to buy the work. (Though that is a consideration when I’m feeling more rational at times…especially since big canvases are expensive).
As I’ve been creating a body of work on these larger pieces, my personal experience in the process has been otherworldly…like a form of meditation. No wonder I’ve heard artists say that they don’t “live in the real world.” I now understand what that means—to be so vested in something that it consumes you. That’s not to say that the process is void of struggle, because the very nature of creating something from nothing involves the dance of toiling with the unknown, and the resolve of understanding.
Looking back, I feel as though my health issue was a big gift in an odd package. One that created a great deal of clarity for me as to what I’m supposed to be doing in my life. That I no longer need anyone’s permission or that there’s any doubt in my own mind, but that I have to show up for the work (the big work!) that I’ve probably secretly always wanted to create.
Based on the experience that I had, I wonder what you would create wholeheartedly if you knew that the clock was ticking with a finish line in site?