There are marked ebbs and flows to my life, from small daily things, to long arcs of time.
Some observations; Coming into the last month of the first year of having my first dedicated, away-from-home studio space, I feel as though I’ve been there all along, for all of time, I feel so comfortable to have filled it with my creative practice. I get comfortable with the way I have things set up, the projects on the wall in various stages of completion, my supplies set up nearest to where they are being used, certain items tucked away out of view to prevent the potential for distraction. Soon enough, the high tide goes out and I feel the excitement of the newness and comfort ebbing to a low point, and some sort of upheaval inevitably happens; works are returned for storage, finished projects come down, the whole thing gets reinvigorated for another cycle of growth.
I see the same cycle is mirrored in my professional life, my financial decisions, and just as I’m learning to use it in my creative process, I am beginning to feel comfortable with the ebb and flow of finances in the life of a freelance, practicing, and teaching artist.
I even see it in my inspiration, what issues or imagery I really have on my mind at the moment and how it informs my artwork. The flow of inspiration usually comes in a tidal wave of excitement, a revisited inspirational artist has made new work that parallels mine, or a serendipitous article or chapter in a book rekindles a once well-established connection. Then it seems like a race against the clock to absorb as much of the fresh inspiration as possible before it goes out of focus. This is usually a time during which I write, collect imagery, and plan new series.
With any passage of time, though, the tide again recedes but it has deposited so many nourishing things. The wake of the tide of excitement has become my time to pick up the meaningful pieces of inspiration and to study them and integrate them into my process. There are projects I realize I started work on over a year ago, still rolling beneath the surface, there are completed projects that have finally been digested by outside viewers, and new growth is possible.
As I re-write my artist statement and bio, what will likely become an annual event, I am able to recognize the marks of growth and decay in my work, pruning dead branches and protecting new growth. Sometimes the growth rings are narrow, sometimes longer periods of growth are evident, all superimposed on each other over the period of 12 months, what feels like a lifetime, much of it nurtured by my space at Gallery Aferro.