Friday, September 06, 2013

Looking Closely...Small Purple Things...Practice

Examined closely, a cut purple cabbage resembles an Avatar (just saw the movie again) type tortured tree. I've been reading Natalie Goldberg's THE TRUE SECRET OF WRITING, and flash back to buying WRITING DOWN THE BONES at the Elliot Bay Bookstore, where my youngest brother decided to move to the Northwest twenty years before I did.

I have studied Buddhism, and writing, and image-making, and Practice since then, and maybe 30 years later, the Practice aspect is coming into focus.

Dead Kale, captured in the spring...often dead things are as interesting as those at their peak--or maybe richer. Perhaps I can apply that analogy to my own aging...the lines may not be as crisp, but perhaps there's more depth.

Bee in the flowering thyme in my back yard...please keep them alive! Our survival depends on theirs...we are all interconnected, people, plants, pollenating insects, and all water, rocks, and soil. 

When my house was being built, I studied the colors of the Northwest, to pick something that would speak of my new home. Purple and green are the colors I found...and deep connections tying me to the rocks and beaches.

As I create more time for myself to make art, or to be involved in Art, I am attracted to the idea of Practice... Putting structure into my days, asking myself to concentrate on focal areas and repetition with variations, instead of bouncing all around.


My portrait series, now in its third or fourth year, is a Practice, using the structure of the portrait as a way of going deeper into the topic, through repetition. I am painting more slowly since I hung my show of 70 portraits at the MAC for August and September, but I don't want to stop...I have heard in several contexts how many hours of practice are required to become proficient at Anything...and Art is the field that has chosen me, in ways I can't ignore.

At the base of the purple petunias, mushrooms are growing, the weather is changing, dark days approaching...few distractions from Art Making.


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