Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Changing Times

These past few months have been tough on me. It is like living inside of a snow globe, one of those objects where you shake it and watch snow flakes swirl and drift over a scene in the globe. With OCD I need certain predictability, a certain consistency in my life. Without this my anxiety levels rise, my thinking becomes fragmented and scattered, and I have a hard time functioning. I feel like I am wandering aimlessly in a heavy fog. This isn’t necessarily bad. Life, the great I Am, in its infinite wisdom knew it was time to shake up my life and see where everything settled down. I know that it is a good thing that will bring new growth and ideas. I know that in spite of my doubts, I will survive the anxieties and the uncertainties. I know all of this I just don’t quite believe it yet.

The patterns of my life have been turned upside down so that we could accomplish some short-term goals. We have helped our daughter move across the country and get settled into her new life. We have finished fixing up our house after endless hours of work. The hardwood floors are refinished and new carpeting installed. New paint, inside and out and all the maintenance projects are finished. The trees are trimmed and the flowers are blooming. We had real estate agents come over and evaluate our house so we might sell it. It now turns out that we will stay here for a while.

The economy in Michigan is horrible and the housing market is even worse. People are selling their houses for thousands of dollars less than what they paid for them years ago. We are not willing to do that. Moving, for us, is a choice not a necessity. We want to get away from cold harsh winters. Otherwise, we like our house and its location. Our house is fully paid for and we are comfortable. We are disappointed but not sad. We will wait out the economy.

Even though this change, moving, will not happen for a while all of this has set into motion other changes. Time away from my studio has forced me to look at what I am doing with my artwork. What I saw did not make me very happy. In fact it put me into a bit of a depression.

To me, a lot of my work looks stale and lifeless. It does not have the energy that I am looking for and that I desire. Drawing has always been important to me. In fact I prefer drawing to painting. I look at my work and I have lost the sense of drawing in it. I want to go back and reincorporate drawing into the final image. I want that spontaneity, that sense of moment, of the here and now. Drawing has more of a sense of the temporary, preparatory, and even fleeting. Drawing is more like life, a fugitive on its way to becoming something. That transitory nature, that sense of impermanence intrigues me.

I do not need to reverse direction but I need to adjust my course. I need to refocus on those things that are vital and important. Everything else can be thrown overboard.

Both of these paintings are from my Winter Walk Series. Both are oil on prepared paper.