Friday, May 16, 2008

thoughts about inspiration and art

written 5-11-08

I have gone for so long trying not to be inspired that now that I actually want to be inspired, I do not know where to begin. When I say that I tried to not be inspired, what I mean is that I avoided art, of all kinds. Galleries, magazines, books, everything. Especially anything having to do with sculpture. I remember picking up magazines at the bookstore and seeing all this amazing art and feeling this rise in my chest, this pulling sensation, this fear, this sadness, this excitement. All at the same time. I remember pushing it all down. Not wanting to feel those things. Not wanting to long for a world in which I called myself an artist. For so long I just had no place to do it. Living in apartments, the camper. Excuses. But I’m feeling a pull to it again. I have the space now, I want to do something but I feel so stuck. I have no ideas.

I’m just feeling like I need to create again. I go through these dry spells and for awhile about a year ago I made art, it felt good. But then I quit, I couldn’t get myself into it. I’ve tried little things, crafts, jewelry, knitting. I don’t feel like doing any of that. It’s frustrating because in the moment that I find something new to learn, it feels so right, like I was meant to do “this” all along. Then it fades. Like the hemp jewelry that lead me to macramé. It was such a high for awhile and then it just went away. Part of it, I think, was that it came during the time we were living with my parents. It was hard to feel inspired when I was so focused on getting us into our own space. But I’m like that no matter where I am I guess, that is the truth. I get fired up and then the fire dies out.

So what am I doing now? Well, I’m creating food. That feels completely awesome. It is the most exciting thing I’ve felt since making babies. I get up every morning and go out and look at all the new growth, every tiny bit that they’ve grown since the day before is rejoiced and celebrated.

But…oh you knew a big ol’ but was coming. Even though I’m loving the gardening, I am feeling this pull to make ART again. It feels good because I haven’t really even wanted to for so long…a year maybe. I have come to realize what I want to do is sculpture and so I’m trying to figure out how to get inspired to do that. Then I remembered what used to get me going. LOOKING AT ART!!! Duh! So I pulled out some old journals and sketchbooks from college. Nada. Next I pulled out all my books on sculpture that I have on my shelf. That feels like a good place to start but I had all these thoughts and so I thought I would put them down first.

Okay, now I’m going to go pour over these books. Hope for inspiration. And then figure out where to work. I have thought about building a work space in the backyard or using the camper when we get it moved over here (my mom’s idea!). But I know I will think of some way to have the space I need for sculpture. Trying to do art that requires little space has made me frustrated, they were good to keep the flow going but still not what I needed to be doing. So, what will I do next? I do not know, but I’m looking forward to it.Share


CG said...

This is so freaky, how thin the veil is, how related is everything. The book I got from the library today that I thought, almost immediately, I want to share this with la, was "The Passion Test". See if they have it in JC maybe. Which it is funny that I have found this to use to look into me because I really do feel like I am doing much better with my passion. I stuffed horses down for so long, so that part of this post really spoke to me too.

You are an artist. There is nothing you can do, or not do, to not be. So there.

Ren said...

I agree.

I've been feeling that pull to do art again too. Stronger lately. I shut it away for a while because all my art supplies are basically in a heap as we organize the garage and a new space for me.

What struck me, is your last post where you quoted a part of your book. It struck me right between the eyes because for the last two
years I've been slowly collecting "lost things". Items I find on the street or in parking lots. Items that were once important to someone but got broken and left behind.

I had this idea of making a work of art that used these bits and pieces, with the idea of symbolizing all the broken and lost people in the world. The ones that get discarded all too easily like the vagabond we always see in Asheville or the stoned guitar player we bought tea for one day.

Just ideas floating right now. Your post about the book was timely.

I often say that the things inside of us are there whether we choose to ignore them or not. We get NO choice about that which lives inside us and swells up in desire. We only have the choice to respond or not, live fully or as half a person.

Jessica said...

Yep - there's nothing you can do about are an artist! (everyone is, some just repress it more than others - for a variety of reasons!) I think the word ARTIST is just SO loaded that it takes over and touches all our insecurities. Making food - growing it and also creating in the kitchen (like you do so well :) are both forms of art.

The second i pressure myself like "oh, i should make more stuff for etsy or i should put together a book to keep record of the girls' unschooling..." i FREAK out and do exactly...NOTHING.

as garbage says "the trick is to keep breathing" (and tell your mind to shut up - that helps too)


laura said...

jess said "The second i pressure myself like "oh, i should make more stuff for etsy or i should put together a book to keep record of the girls' unschooling..." i FREAK out and do exactly...NOTHING."

oh my gosh, did you pull that out of my head. i swear when i was reading this i thought, is she quoting me from somewhere...but then i just have the one girl and so that clued me in...LOL!!!

and so i was also thinking you were my friend jess from here and that couldn't be right either, she has only one girl who is this person that seems to know me so well (the art and food stuff) then all of a sudden it hit's my beautiful charleston jess!!! oh my gosh!!! i miss you girl!!

oh yeah, i have to tell my mind to shut up on a regular basis. but it does not listen to me!!!

Jessica said...

that's funny you didn't know which Jess I was! It is a pretty common name...when my mom was pregnant with me she thought it was NOT common and that's one reason she liked it so much and picked it for me - but I think there must have been a lot of moms-to-be at that time thinking the exact same thing as her!!!! I do love my name tho ;)

....but I HATE when people call me Jennifer (they don't sound at all alike to me)