Tuesday, October 29, 2013

home again

           my favorite deck... sigh.
When friends ask how my week on the Vineyard was, I find the phrase ‘the bliss of hard work’ comes first to mind — to paraphrase Josef Albers, a primary source of inspiration — along with the trees, the geese, the fast-moving clouds, the ocean.  Somehow we’re taught, at least I was, that if left to our own devices we are inclined toward laziness, and would if we were allowed lie around for days on end eating bonbons and watching TV.  A mistrust of our true natures.  I was relieved and reassured to learn that in fact I love to work hard, to focus on that work which I care most deeply about.

Josef Albers
, Study for a Variant / Adobe (I)
 ca. 1947
Oil on blotting paper with pencil. 
© 2010 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.

My task for the week was to develop a group of paintings and drawings I will be showing at the Salt Lake City Public Library in January 2014:  small semi-abstract landscapes inspired by the library building itself.  The exhibition marks a milestone in my artistic development, and challenges me to press ahead despite fears, insecurities, and (really really loud) voices of doubt and inadequacy.

Through this blog I’d like to connect, on a weekly basis, particularly with the TLC community, and share experiences with other grantees as I work to achieve my own goal.  A side effect, I hope, is to discover whether I like to blog.  And maybe find a little humor and lightness in the sharing. 

This first week back is for assessment.  My friend and fellow artist Patty has agreed to visit for a critique, to give me honest feedback on where my work stands and concrete suggestions on how to improve them.  It’s hard to know sometimes whether I’m even on the right path . . . and as Anne Lamott says:  theoretically I could do it alone, but it’s sure easier to have people helping.

 work, in progress 

Till next week, I remain deeply grateful for such a rare and intensive retreat experience.  

. . . and offer this, from Albers:

Easy — to know
that diamonds — are precious
good — to learn
that rubies — have depth
but more — to see
that pebbles — are miraculous.