Monday, August 13, 2012

The Way Back Machine (or falling through the looking glass)

This project that I am working on has required something that I haven't ever quite successfully undertaken before.  I am revisiting a piece.  March and April of 2011 consisted of me working on several pieces for a show at Townshend's Teahouse, working late at the poetHouse, with Battlestar Galactica in the background.  The product of that work was the show Feathers, Scales, and Shells.   One particular piece, The Medicine Show, was probably my favorite of all the pieces, but also the one that I felt was most incomplete.  I hung it up in my house, but never took official photos or scans of it.  It needed more time and attention, but I had moved on.  So it hung on my wall.

One of the hardest parts about the creative process is saying: done.  There are always passages of color or details that I look at, months later, and think "if only."  I often have to stop myself from grabbing the things off the wall.  But I don't come back. What's done is done, and I am in a different place.  Plus, unless it is on my own wall, it's quite rude to pull it down and say, "I'll be right back."

With this piece, the Medicine Show, I am in a dramatically different place psychically and artistically.  A good year and a half later, I'm glad to say that I've learned a bit more about my craft, and I've move on.  However, maybe with a groan, and through the urging of my sister (aka The Editrix)  I decided to grab it off the wall, to dig back into it, for the sake of problem solving  another project we have been working on (more later on that).  Oddly, it's been So Satisfying.  Stubborn and stuck at first, I gradually let myself be absorbed by the thing in front of me.

maybe I will do a before and after shot later. 

When I really dig in and get to work, that is what happens: I become absorbed.  It's like the piece I am working on is the looking glass that melts from solid to liquid, letting me pass through. This is when time falls away.  This is when the process becomes pleasure, when colors become scents and temperatures and tastes.  When I can revisit a time and place of initial creation with objectivity and patience and insight.  When all the attached stories find meaning, but then fall away with ease.

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