Tuesday, May 28, 2013

That Perfect Edge and Sweetness

I am encroaching on my old self.  For those of you who know me personally, at least sometime in the past nearly 10 years or so (God, has it been that long?)... you know I am an attorney, that I work in a very tall building, that I am very busy, and that on some days, I am even important, and maybe even in the grand scheme of things... at least sometimes.  But having three days at my disposal this past weekend (even if I was feverish for part of it) has afforded me some precious moments in which I have been privileged and inspired to delve into an old passion.  I sat for about four or five hours yesterday, alone... with a mechanical pencil.  Well, not entirely alone.  I also had an eraser.  And a sketch book.  And some inspiring images on my laptop.  You see,  I am working on some drawings for a project I have been invited to work on, and it delights my senses to be working, in earnest, on an artistic goal of my own.  I have carte blanche authority to make any visual choices I want in this project, which is quietly thrilling.  You see, in this life, I have spent a great deal of time facilitating others' art.  I have spent time as a serigraphy printer - printing other artists' works in precisely-printed editions, as an art teacher working in a variety of settings with children of various ages, and I am only in the past couple of weeks gracefully floating back to Earth after an amazing experience orchestrating an art project and fundraiser for the benefit of others.  But, this time, the art project is mine.  It's all been utterly worth doing, of course, and I have been rewarded with personal and deep-running benefits from all of the the work experiences I have lived and toiled through for the benefit of others, but there is simply nothing quite like creating in solitude, enveloped only by music of my choosing in my squishy, external, massive headphones and sitting and working for hours that feel like mere minutes.  Just creating.  And, by the way, I am only cognizant that I was drawing for about four or five hours based upon my after-the-fact internal count of how many times the album I was listening to resounded and echoed in my mind as I sketched away, entirely in another world yet physically present at my hard and heavy reclaimed wood dining table seated upon a velvety upholstered chair.  When I was invited to work on this project, I was told by my project-partner that my work has a certain "wonderful combination of edge and sweetness that's just perfect."  So I suppose this post is about that perception of my work as possessing that perfect edge and simultaneous sweetness.  I am honored by his comment, and I hope to live up to it as I complete more drawings for our joint effort.  Truth be told, I'd like to embody this description in my own personal being in this world as well as in my artwork (and think sometimes that maybe I do), but I'll take what I can get.  Through all of this, my mind is swirled away on waves of memory reminding me what it was like to "live" my art.  Late night conversations with dear friends about our experiences of the most-important-thing-in-the-world-which-was-expressing-all-this-passion-and-vision-inside and countless hours, at all hours of the day and night, in various UT art studios smelling linseed oil and turpentine and feeling the exquisitely smooth trail of a fan brush on large personally stretched and primed canvases, covered with caked-dry-but-once-wet-clay and not caring and still carving away for hours, or reclining in the unearthly pale light of the print lab darkroom eagerly awaiting the results of the image in the photo emulsion after the appropriately timed exposure on the light table.  Wow, it's been such a long time since those days, and I am a more grounded, and more "accomplished" version of myself now, and yet less... well, less something I don't know quite how to put my finger on... but maybe, just maybe, encroaching on my old self while going forward in my present life will create a sort of perfect harmony, which perfection I can potentially blog about down the road.  Balance, after all, is golden.  In the meantime, when I have the time, I'll scratch my pencil on that soft but solid paper surface and work on crafting those perfect images of edgy sweetness.