The muse and I are dancing.
Dancing in all the colours of the rainbow
threaded through the supernumerary
of dreams and dreamers
to the promises held
within a golden sky
soaring into the infinity
beckoning me to create
the magic of my dreams
in living colour.
The muse and I are spinning.
of dreams taking flight
on whims of fancy
tumbling and spiralling
of lighter than air
of life unbounded
by gravity and gravitas
upon a raven’s caw
beckoning me into flight.
The muse and I are dancing.
Watch us spin!
There is something magical about playing in the studio and then dancing with words appearing as if strung across invisible threads of imagination.
Before I went away to visit with my daughter and her family, and to meet my brand new granddaughter, Ivy, I had gessoed, collaged and painted two wooden canvases with complementary backgrounds.
Yesterday, the muse beckoned me to create outside the altered book journal I’ve been working on in memory of my mother and her prayer cards.
Day 3: River Rock Studio — On the way to finding the path, I found my way.
We painted until midnight. Four adults revelling in the joy of discovery, initiation, anticipation of what happens when we let go of judgement to fall into that place where all we know is what is right before us in the presence of the present of now.
We laughed. Teased. Shared stories. Of art. Art-making. Art-treasuring. We shared ideas. Scraps of paper, “here try this piece there.” “Does anyone have any Green Gold?”
We shared ideas, thoughts, experiments that worked and one’s that didn’t.
We painted medium over magazine pages and set them to dry. We ironed on and peeled back. We worked alone and together. Separately and as one.
And through it all, the muse entwined us in her seductive call to let go, become, allow.
“It’s not only having the information that counts,” Jonathan had told us earlier in the day. “It’s knowing how to share it.”
With yourself. The canvas. One another. The world.
“Art is a visual language,” Jonathan said. “the more we play with it, the more comfortable we become with the elements.”
I am stuck. My piece is not working.
I am attached to the elements, the composition, the path I’ve chosen.
Jonathan sits on the other side of my work table. “Take the elements off the substrate,” he says. “All of them.”
I take them off.
“You have 3 minutes to rearrange them,” he says. “Make a new composition.” And looks at his watch, timing me.
I rearrange the pieces of my collage.
“Do you like it?” he asks.
“It’s okay,” I tell him.
“Do it again,” he says.
And I do. Again and again, each time working to place the elements without thought, without attachment.
“None of it is permanent. None of it,” he says when I have arranged the elements into a final pose.
And in the reconstruction of the composition, I discover harmony in other ways.
There is no one right way to discover the path. There is only the path I take and always, there are many paths to find myself.
I had arisen early to sit outside in the morning light. In silence, I sat and heard the birdsong, the leaves rustling. Somewhere in the distance, I heard a coyote yip, an owl hoot. Somewhere in the distance, there were many things I could not hear. Voices talking. Laughing. Calling to one another, rising to greet the day. Cars passing over asphalt, a bird landing on the still surface of a pond, rippling it for a moment as it touched down.
I knew all these things were happening, somewhere in the distance, and still I sat. Alone. Quiet. At peace in the early morning light.
Another day of wonder and awe awaits. Another day unfolds in the joy of creating without any intention other than to learn and express and experience the gifts the muse has to share.
It is the official first day of the course. I am excited. Eager to delve into collage, art-making, being in community.
We are eleven. Four students in the downstairs studio space with the instructor, Jonathan Talbot, at the front of the room where two long tables span the width of the space to accommodate his needs. The other six are in the beautiful upstairs studio. Big windows looking out at the forest beyond. Bright sunny space. I had chosen to be in the downstairs space the day before because I didn’t relish the idea of lugging my six heavy tubs of art supplies up a half flight of stairs. I’m grateful this morning as the downstairs space, though darker, is cooler.
It is already warm outside by 9am.
Jonathan gathers group and asks, “How long does it take to win the 100m race?”
He answers his own question. About 10 seconds if you’re an Olympian. But it takes a whole lot of time getting there, he adds.
Art-making is like that. it takes time. Effort. Patience. Practice.
We practice. Practice. Practice. Experiment. Test. Attempt. The difference is, in art-making, there is no winning or losing, there is simply that place of exploding ideas, that space where judgement falls away and all we are left is the act of creation making something out of what wasn’t seen before, visible.
The edges of your substrate are your limitations, he tells us.
Don’t play to your limitations. Play to the elements of your creativity.
I like that.
Play to the elements. With the elements. Be one with the elements and let creativity play with me as I play with being creative.