Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Drawing A Sun Where There Is None"

Thanks to Doonesbury for the inspiration today.

"The way that I work is by doing a lot of work.  And out of that come ideas, refinement, more work, more ideas."
(Dale Chihuly)

As it turns out, Dale Chihuly has suffered from from depression and bipolar disorder since his 40s. Didn't know that until just now as I did a little Googling about him.   I'd always assumed he had inexhaustible energy for his work and felt envious.

There is a long-standing pattern in my life of setting out to work again and again and finding myself physically or emotionally derailed.  A few days ago after I got out my paints, I developed a headache and an upset stomach.  I have not felt well since that day, and my sleep has been disturbed.  As Sabine wrote,  "It is what it is."

Here are some of my linoblocks from the 1970s and early 1980s, my first years in Bellingham and a time of emotional turmoil and grief and searching for direction as well as experiencing periods of creative energy:

The second to the last linoblock is "Drawing A Sun Where There Is None."
The rest are untitled.

I may need to paint or weave or play music whether I feel good or not, as I seem to be able to blog whether I feel good or not.

That is a sobering and freeing thought.


Sabine said...

These linoblocks are beautiful. I can relate to what you describe as derailed. I am forever making lists of what I would like to do, simple tasks really, and before I know it I am cleaning the cutlery drawer or rearrange the pot plants, for goodness sake. I think sometimes I am scared to set out for what I know will lift me up. And sometimes is a very elastic term...

bev said...

Derailment seems to be part of the creative process. Art demands a lot of time and energy and it seems there is always something getting in the way. I didn't know that about Chihulhy and depression. He seems such a prolific artist. However, it seems more often than not that artists tend to have bursts of creativity, followed by almost dormant states. We may not be actively creatinging during those dormant times, but maybe we are incubating ideas.

The Solitary Walker said...

It may surprise you (or not) to know, am, that many of my walks — including this last one — are 'escapes' from family turmoil and dysfunctionality. My creative place and space — and my poems too, all part of that.

Anonymous said...

I love seeing your artwork. I especially like the title "drawing a sun where there is none." That is so true is so many ways.

am said...

Sabine -- Thank you. "I think sometimes I am scared to set out for what I know will lift me up." That's me, too. Then I think about what Georgia O'Keeffe said -- that she was afraid every moment of her life but she went ahead anyway.

bev -- Long dormant states are certainly my pattern, too. Thank you for affirming that in a positive way. I tend to compare myself with those artists I know who are working in their studios on a nearly daily basis.

Solitary Walker -- Yes, your creative place is a path, a camino. I like that about you and that you've created a strong body of writing and photography in that way.

robin andrea -- Thank you! Hope to have some
new work soon.

Taradharma said...

i hear you and relate to the struggle. i've had great creative periods come at the most unexpected times, and if I'm lucky I grab them and run with them. But dormancy, well, that gets me most of the time.