This week has been full of surprises:
Unexpected, and much appreciated, motivation.
Work that seems to flow effortlessly from me to the panels I’m painting.
Bursts of ideas about how to expand and develop my exploration of glaciers.
And a spur of the moment collage.
These surprises have been major blessings after the last few weeks. My work was stagnant. I felt stuck. Instead of being excited as each piece approached completion, I was underwhelmed. The concept and composition were nothing new. There was no growth….
I had an initial panic moment and wondered “Am I getting WORSE?” Then I realized there had been growth. In me. I had outgrown my approach and was ready to experiment and expand on what I’d developed. What a relief! I shooed self-doubt out of my studio.
I took a week to evaluate all the glacier pieces I’ve done. I thought about what worked (creating depth through changes in color and value as well as lots of layers) and what didn’t (Undirected movement of the eye across each piece, I was only pulling they eye IN).
Little flickers of ideas were going through my mind:
The churning of a waterfall
Water flowing through pipes
The curve of a waterslide
The flickers were becoming full flames. I needed swirling movement. Rotation. I needed to paint the glaciers in ways that showed the connection with flowing water. Water shapes glaciers as it flows over and through them. Glaciers come from water and then revert to it again.
The mini paintings I’ve worked on this week reflect that more. I still have lots of room to grow within this new approach so I’m happy and feel like a wave of momentum is carrying me.
I want to further investigate glaciers. My conversation with them is not done. As I’ve worked on glaciers over the last year and a half they have become much more than paintings of a beautiful and endangered part of our planet.
They have evolved into pieces on which to contemplate our relationships with space and time. Each layer represents a different section of space and a different moment in time.
They explore the fear and curiosity we feel when facing the unknown and question how we'll let the strength of those emotions impact our decisions.
They are my meditations on impermanence.