Work begets work – which creates a tension for me. Sometimes more work is a reward and sometimes it’s just more chores.
The reward comes in the form of making more art work – to be creative stimulates more ideas – strings come loose and fray from the original piece or pattern, and these loose strings can be the beginnings of new ideas and paths to follow. I wonder, were the ideas already there, lying dormant?
Producing work produces more work! It’s an exciting state of mind…being creative…and it provides “juice” or fuel for our souls. But, it has demands that can be hard to sustain. To work on new ideas, bringing them from their nascent state to reality is work. It’s dig-in and make-it-happen-work. Grit – get in your studio, and keep-going-with-those-ideas-work. So there is fatigue, even in creative work.
Here enters the tension. Any of us who get to do work that is creative and generative are fortunate. But most of us have some sort of parallel work that is the stuff of every day – our chores and tasks to survive. I don’t have to gather water and chop wood but I do have to cook, clean and attend to many tasks that are seemingly endless. Work that makes work. To feed my family, I must first think, then assemble, chop, prep and cook. Afterward I scrape the leftovers into containers and wash dishes to prepare for the same work again tomorrow. Sometimes I wonder at its incessant nature and other times, its therapeutic value.
But after having done these tasks hundreds of times, I can stand and snap beans, peel carrots, wash pots and at the same time, visualize a painting or shape words into stories. Parallel work.
Work begetting work.
An aside…a short story about the painting above, “Etosha – Great White Place”…
It was one of those days! A day where you can’t believe where you are – the kind of day when I’m so glad to have travel-mates that “get it” without a word being spoken – a nudge with my elbow into their ribs says it all, followed by a glance and a knowing smile. Black-faced impala, elephants, giraffe, acacias?
Our bodies told us that the day was done – but with a little more light to be seen on the white dust road and the veldt (grass plain) glowing, we turned down one more side road in Etosha National Park, Namibia. Squeeze out every drop of the day. Head lamps and lanterns would see us through another camp set-up in the dark! The hot shimmering light of day began to submit to the haze of twilight. Animal sightings, yes!…elephants and zebra visiting the water hole, but with the cool air rising quickly as the sun left the horizon, it was time to find our campsite. It was winter in the Namibian desert.
I was honored this past week to sell the painting, “Etosha – Great White Place” to a wonderful client-friend, after she visited my Storefronts – Seattle installation!
Storefronts – Seattle installations are on view until November 8th! My work is in the John St Window at 1026 John St. Part of a group of eight talented artists in different windows in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Some of the others are on Mercer St, Thomas, and Republican St.
The paintings are available for purchase. If interested or if you have questions or comments please contact me.
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