This weekend in the Muskokan, there is a little article on me and my paintings of historic places in Muskoka. There are some other neat articles on local history and graveyards and Frank Cooper is interviewed as well. The story with a great pic of me at the Fleger House in Uffington with “Twilight” is here or grab a copy if you’re in the area!
I have been absent from here awhile this past week. I have been working away at a few new larger paintings of which this is the first work in progress.
This house has insisted on a story and I have found myself torn in so many creative directions that focus is a challenge. I have allowed myself the luxury of dropping the ball a little to get some perspective on where I am and what I am doing and how I might tell that story.
I have a tendency to get caught up in the momentum of my own making and, every so often, I need to remind myself to check in with my heart and spirit. It is too easy to run over things and narrow the focus too much. Perhaps the ‘career’ demands that the narrow focus is necessary, but, every so often, taking a sideroad can lead to some unexpected creative place.
In university, I researched old buildings and wrote for the University paper and eventually was the News Director for the Radio Station on Campus. I wrote short stories and poetry and assumed I would end up working for some municipality in the capacity of researcher. It never occurred to me I’d find myself here – a painter. I, like many other artists, have pursued many occupations before becoming an artist. I tend to believe that each and every one of those steps was there for a reason – otherwise, I would have been painting from the beginning and not starting in my late thirties.
But here I am. I am still telling stories, I suppose, but not with words. This house, however, is demanding both. An entire series of events poured out of my head one night while lying in bed and I feel like my focus is being torn apart. Things just started popping into my head. There is a story here, most certainly, but I am not certain it has much to do with what really happened here in this house.
It is not enough for me to just paint this one and move on to the next story. I am compelled to step back a little and sit with it a while. I think that, for me, the paintings need to be more than pretty pictures. They must have meaning, if not context. Each part of the story should be able to stand on its own, but together, the written and the painted should be greater than their sum. Let’s see where this sideroad leads…
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