Saturday, December 24, 2011

Soul Searching pt 5

This is the original post I wrote, it flooded out in maybe 10-15 minutes time. A day later I re-read it and decided that I needed to explore much more deeply in order to really discover what I was feeling. You've read all of that in the last four posts, but this post says some different things and even though it repeats a few things in the other posts, it has great merit on its own.


In her discussions of the artist's statement, Luann Udell asks "What is the story only you can tell" and I frankly have no idea. It's a combination of feeling like whatever I have to say has probably been said before by someone else, and not knowing what I have to say that is relevant or even matters to anyone else.

I'm one of those artists whose statement sounds like "I've always drawn, I love color, it's so much fun!" and there's nothing in that to connect to, to make anyone feel anything other than boredom. I don't want my "story" to be about technique and credentials either, both because I'm not trained by anyone or any school and though I've won awards and taught classes, I don't feel that creates an emotional connection to my work.

It doesn't at all express my emotional connection to my work.

I want people to have a reaction to my work, I want it to excite their emotions, remind them of dreams, take them to another frame of mind that is outside the realm of average, everyday, human life. I want to do this for other people because that place is where my art takes me. That other place is where my art comes from.

I've read a lot about spirituality, near death experiences, religion, myth, fantasy, science, beliefs... if it has anything to do with that place I've probably looked it up at least once. In all of my reading, I've come to understand something...

That place as I call it, I think it is our soul that we are trying to reach, to connect to... to feel. It's elusive and ethereal, the stuff of dreams and fantasy, but it's also a very real and common experience among most people. Different things take us there, it may be in church, or while performing a ritual, it may be walking into an ancient place like stonehenge or the pyramids, it may be that split second at the top of a rollercoaster when you are looking way, way, way down and starting to free fall. The feeling of flight, the feeling of love, the feeling of that perfect moment when something you've been secretly wishing for happens and you feel the fireworks in your heart.

It is that ultimately miniscule and fleeting moment that I'm trying to capture in my work. It is that moment I am trying to give to people who experience my work.

Luann's work gives me this feeling, and it is the combination of her work and the story of her work that takes me to that awe-inspiring place in my heart. Every now and then, I feel like those horses, wanting to run free again... I feel like those fish, frozen eternally in stone, missing my oceans. The feeling comes despite my logical, rational knowledge that I'm not physically old enough to know those things or have those feelings of being ancient... and yet I do. I think we all do, whether we realize it or not.

It's a beautiful feeling, and in my opinion it is one of the highest of human experiences... many people, many artists, have given me this experience, and I want to share it.

That's what I need help with... or rather encouragement. I've kept this blog deliberately seperate from my life and from my art website. This blog is my story, the story behind my work, especially my more recent work, and I've been keeping it hidden because ...well... I'm scared. I'm afraid to break down the barrier between the person I've been taught I was supposed to be (which included mainstream Christianity) and the person I know I am.

The irony for me is that on this very blog I have repeatedly expressed that it is ok to be the person you are, no matter what other people may think. It is ok to let the people who don't agree leave your life. It is ok that not everyone will agree with you... or even that most people won't agree with you. It is ok because of the people who do agree with you. That experience is so powerful for both of the people involved that it is worth it. It is worth everything.

There's nothing in this world that is worth more than spending a split second in that place. Communing with your soul, having those feelings wash over that are a gift from your soul, because it wants you to be in this place.

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