|Ink and watercolor in small moleskine|
Still there were moments. As a result of my last post in which I described a kind of art identity crisis, you all came to my rescue - my internet artist friends rallied to my aid. It was a gathering. It was therapy. It was an intervention!
If you haven't done so already, read the post for the context, so that you can read all of the wonderful comments - they are the longest, most comprehensive, well-considered comment-essays I have ever received in response to a post since the inception of this blog.
To those that commented, thank you. I owe you more than I can say. Now, as a result of your help, I am only slightly unbalanced.
I do not blame the Miami artists. I think they unintentionally laid bare my own underlying dissatisfaction with the state (or stage?) of my own work. It takes time to develop, I know. I am under no illusions. Or at least my illusions are few. Or less than many. Well, let's put it this way, I have less illusions than a kid at an American Idol try out. And that will have to do. So you can expect more experimentation in 2013. And more desperate efforts to develop my skills. (Did I say desperate?)
|4" x 6" ink and watercolor on Fabriano Artistico rough paper|
At the Miami Book Fair International, the shining moment for me was seeing Anne Lamott speak. I sketched her (above) as she shared her wit, wisdom and humor to a full auditorium. (Anne: I just colored the drawing yesterday. This is the reason why your blouse is rose, rather than blue or green or whatever.) (Dear reader: Of course she is going to read this!) [Editors note: See the above paragraph about illusions.]
Anne Lamott is an author whose road was harder than many. She is a recovered alcoholic-turned-successful author and she is an inspiration - a fun inspiration. Bird by Bird is the book by her that I have read, (why on earth have I read only one? Another new year's resolution..) and it is by far my favorite book on how to write, and I have read many. [Editor's note: For the definition of "many", see the above paragraph about illusions]. In that book, for example, she gives the following advice which can easily be applied to art or to any creative endeavor:
"Your day's work might turn out to have been a mess. So what? Vonnegut said, 'When I write, I feel like an armless legless man with a crayon in his mouth.' So go ahead and make big scrawls and mistakes. Use up lots of paper. Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist's true friend. What people somehow (inadvertently, I'm sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here -- and, by extension, what we're supposed to be writing."
I am inspired. I have a laundry list of resolutions for 2013. When I shared the concept of a resolution with my autistic son Matthew, he thought I said "revolutions". That's a much better name for it, don't you think? So I now have revolutions. If I fail, it's a circle, and I can try to succeed the next time - during the entire new year.
|Ink and watercolor in small moleskine|
George Sukeji Morikami, the only remaining settler in a Japanese colony from the turn of the 20th century, dreamed of gardens that bridge the distance between his two homelands. A successful farmer and fruit and vegetable wholesaler, he ultimately donated his land. So now the the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens exist in Boca Raton, Florida. When I visited the gardens I sketched and painted the waterfalls above with a water brush on site ( I haven't done that in a long time).
And at what has got to be one of the most beautiful man-created spaces on earth, the expansive Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Miami is also the fulfillment of a dream. David Fairchild and Robert Montgomery shared a passion for plant collecting that has become an 83-acre botanical garden containing plants and trees from all over the world. It is a joy to experience. On December 31st, when I last visited the gardens, I sketched and painted in the rain forest section.
There you are. Three examples of visions fulfilled. It can happen. It really can. So follow your dreams in 2013..
Happy New Year!