I’m at the confluence where diversity and fluency meet. The water is so churned up that I can’t see clearly and I feel overwhelmed. At the same time, I recognize what a gift this particular crossroads is. I have choices. So many positive choices.
Last Friday, when I sat down for my afternoon of art making, I couldn’t decide what to do. So I simply sat. I could hear the quartz clock calling out with urgency. Every lurch of the hands said “not much time, not much time, not much time”. I sat some more, determined to let myself settle upon some creative endeavor. Planning mind began mapping the to-do lists complete with explanations of why each item should have priority.
I could feel myself sinking into inertia.
Napping sounded good.
Muddy waters, let stand, become clear
So I sat some more. Slowly, I saw how my artistic diversity is currently creating more chaos than wonder, more confusion than results. It’s like learning a foreign language: you can practice the vocabulary, conjugate the verbs, memorize phrases, but until you go to the country and immerse yourself, it’s difficult to become fluent in that language. I want artistic fluency.
Being a lifelong learner, I have a large vocabulary of techniques and tools. Collage, letterpress, printmaking, encaustic, bookbinding, carpentry, sewing (boat covers, bags, clothes), writing (essays, poetry, blogs), jewelry, graphic design, painting (acrylic, water color), assemblages. Yikes! And I generate adventure with new classes, new books for inspiration, and notebooks filled with new ideas. I have sleepless nights dreaming up new creations.
It’s time to choose one or two creative countries and immerse myself so I can really learn their languages.
This is so foreign to me.
And so necessary.
The muddy waters are from attempting all paths at once. The confluence is messy. I see sign posts that read “should” and “maybe” and “not such a good idea”. Where is the one that says “this way”?
I want the way of the heart. And yet I love all of my artistic mediums.
I learn quickly and easily. I forget just as quickly and easily and this is why I am standing at the crossroads. Without sufficient repitition of my many techniques, I am constantly reinventing and using up valuable art time and resources. I resort to dreaming more than doing. Sitting in my studio instead of creating in my studio.
It’s time to choose.