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.

14 Comments:

Blogger The Epiphany Artist said...

Lovely paintings-- That sounds like quite the trip!

5:37 PM  
Blogger jafabrit said...

"need to adjust my course. I need to refocus on those things that are vital and important."

I so understand how you feel, as I am in the same place. Hope you are able to find that balance soon :)

8:08 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Love said...

Hi Ed. It's good to be reading your words again. I hope the plan works out!
I was speaking with a musician this week who said that he is not able to judge how people will respond to his performances...a piece that moves him when playing may not move the audience (& vice versa).
To you, a lot of your work might be looking stale & lifeless, but to others the opposite may be true.
It is a strange thing...

4:21 PM  
Blogger amber said...

Hi ed

i've been tagged by lori and i'm tagging you--no obligation

i love your work ed wish i could see some in person:)

11:34 PM  
Blogger Philip said...

You know what they say Ed - take a walk on the wild side!

7:53 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Hi Ed. I ended up here via Philip Edson and have enjoyed my short stay. I love how you use colour ~ purple in particular ~ and your barns are beautiful! And the best part of not moving? (Though I, too, would love to end up in NM...) You get to enjoy the refinished floors, new carpet and appliances! :)

11:45 AM  
Blogger Philip said...

BTW _ Ed, I much prefer the first of the two paintings shown here. I think you are underestimating your work if I may say so. Drawing always feels incomplete to me and rarely contains the mystery.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

I think what you're feeling might resemble things I go through.

I want to be surprised by the work I do, and when I've hit a stale patch my work doesn't lead me in unexpected directions, it seems to consolidate within a familiar direction.

(It's okay to say "huh?" -- I'm not sure I'm being very clear here.)

One of the reasons I pursue creative activity is that moment when the thing being made remakes me just a bit. Discovery, not exegesis.

I love your reflective post about these sorts of subtle inner shifts, and hope you feel fresher soon.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Ed Maskevich said...

Thank you, everyone. Feed back always helps immensely.

5:54 PM  
Blogger leslyf said...

Hi dear Ed .... late to the scene as usual but I thought that I must leave a word. So glad that you have got your house up together after all your hard work ... sorry about the economy and you are wise to wait that out with regard to selling. Maybe it means that you are just not meant to move ....

These two paintings seem to come from your struggles .... the dense trees are the problems and worries, then the colours in the background are the plans and hopes beckoning you onwards.

I like both paintings but maybe the first one best. Keep us posted on your next ..... will look forward to those.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Camplin said...

I like your trees. I have seen a few artist that have done something simular, but not in imagative colors.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Nancy Standlee said...

Thanks for the kind comments on my blog. I like your reference to your art life as a zig-zag course -mine too. I got a late start in the art world and now want to try it all in the time left - hence a mishmash of styles. I like your "styles".

3:48 PM  
Blogger Roy Lindquist said...

I lover your paintings, your colour and trees.
I am a treehuger, love trees.

Roy in Norway

9:14 AM  
Blogger Terry Kauffman said...

i am going to read your blog with focused thought and attention to all of its detail. thank-you, Terry Kauffman

8:43 AM  

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