Freedom is…

My first completed painting in 3 years… long, long overdue.


Reality Collides

I found myself swept into a veritable typhoon of emotions this past week, so much so, I was worried I would not survive them. The past year and a half of my life has been the most tumultuous in a very long time. This week attempted to roll every emotion I possess into a giant ball of duct tape, attaching to me without any desire to leave. I felt that ball of tape unravel and wrap about me tightly, binding me… alas, I am here, still… barely… a survivor, once more… a term I despise, but one I am trapped within.

Trapped… that’s a funny word and one that resonates deeply within me. It, in fact, is the key within my struggles this week. I do not manage well when I feel trapped within a situation, relationship, etc. In fact, I tend to claw and fight tooth and nail to free myself from whatever is trapping me in a place I wish not to be. Envisage an animal locked within a cage, and it will be me that you see… blood-stained fur and anger in my eyes, fighting for release. This week, however, I realized I did not have the fight in me… I no longer cared enough to fight, which has never once happened to me… and that is exactly why it terrified me so.

It has been one year yesterday that I returned from England – a place I believed to be my new home. Alas, that was not in the cards, so they say… reluctantly, without much choice, I returned stateside to my hometown… a place I have never cared for. I will offer up one consolation prize to the suburban wasteland where I was raised – for as much as I dislike this place, especially to live within it, there is a certain comfort that comes from knowing where everything is and seeing the same faces night in and day out. With that tiny speck of a gem offered up, I feel I live within a bubble of mommy-types, those fending for their rights to be the lead Jones’, and most depressingly of all, there is nowhere to walk without seeing the same house repeated down a vast street of nothingness. – I dare anyone to tell me of something more depressing than a house farm of new construction nightmares without character, without creaky baseboards and without even a modicum of soul… go on, I dare you.

It is no surprise that depression enveloped me and my emotional weakness became overwhelming nearly to the point of ceasing all daily functionality. I somehow managed to preserve the day to day, but it was a fragile attempt that nearly faltered. But, work must be done and attempts at cordiality made, but most importantly, the theatrical mask of whom I’m supposed to be donned to keep up appearances and hide my melancholy as best I can… which, I have been told, I either do exceptionally well, or very poorly… it depends upon circumstance… this week, about 50/50.

It seems, or so I see through the tinted glass of a rum and coke, my displeasure in my living arrangements, coupled with the denial of my dissatisfaction with the terms of my work, smashed within my inherent and vast loneliness collided… no fireworks, just Grade A depression. We go way back , depression and I, and we enjoy a visit now and again if only to simply remind us how much we loathe each other. Alas, realization of such collisions of emotion do not assist in making things all better and happy with butterflies and pixie dust.  But, it does at least provide perspective, and understanding and most importantly, a starting point toward moving forward, yet again.

NOTE: A timely arrival to my Twitter stream occurred today as I was pondering this very post.  @davidgerhard is a talented artist who played with some of my photos to create this: Reality of @samanthai by David Gerhard Check out his work, you won’t regret it.

Art, Naturally…

“Art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes.”
Kahlil Gibran

Earlier this week, when I began posting more than merely poetry, I received a wonderful comment from an artist who found me completely by accident.  Her name is Whitney Peckman and she stumbled upon my blog as both of our blog titles include “pondering”… talk about happy accidents – Ms. Peckman is an amazing artist.  She is inspired by nature, which is immensely clear through her work.  I rarely enjoy a traditional landscape, seascape, gardenscape, etc… however, Ms. Peckman is not traditional in the sense of utter realism.  Her perception of nature is wondrous, imagined and beautiful.  My favorite piece from her website, which was extremely difficult to decide, is Grasses – III seen on her website here: Whitney Peckman – Painter.  I tend to gravitate to the abstract, and she delivers eloquently.  This is not to say that I do not adore many of her paintings… as I stated previously, it was a difficult choice to pick merely one favorite.  Peruse her website and check out her blog Art Ponderings Today, well worth the read.

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.” – Abraham Maslow

With all this artsy chatter of late, I have realized that I have yet to post any of my own paintings.  Granted, art takes many forms indeed, and my poetry is certainly on display.  But, I realize that not everyone appreciates or enjoys every art form.  Therefore, I would like to share more of my arty endeavors with you.  However, tis a bit of a quandary as many of my paintings lie in wait for me in jolly ol’ England and are not available for me to snap a photo or three… alas, it will have to wait until I am with them again.  As new creations arise, I will post my own works for your viewing pleasure (or not).  I do have a couple to share, the first being the image header to my blog which is an excerpt of a fancy doodle of charcoal and willow I created last month.  Here is the full drawing:

And this is a photo of the very first painting I created after I began wielding a brush and palette knives:

Art in its’ varied forms will be a constant within my blog as it is a constant within myself.  It is as necessary for me to create with words, ink, charcoal, yarn, and anything I can get my hands on, as it is to breathe.  Art is my therapy, my church and my lover and without it, I would simply cease existing.  It is true, we artists are known for being a bit dramatic… but what is perceived as drama to one, is merely truth to an artist.  I do not believe I could convey this point better than Pablo Picasso when he said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  – Now, I feel cleansed.

A Hadron Collision of Art

One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.” – Salvador Dali

As my first non-poetic posting, it seems fitting that it be centered around my other lover… art.  Though anyone may call themselves an artist, I believe in the purity of art, the emotion of art, the necessity of art.  In its’ varied, often simplistic and more often, overly complex formations, art is to one as it will never be to another – this very point is its’ beauty.

I was reminded today from several sources about passion.  Passion for things outside of ourselves that make us, as humans, feel what is already there… reminders – that is what passion is.  The fulfillment achieved from discovering new art, music, authors, et al. can be difficult to convey, hence, the birth of inspiration.  Which, as so often inspiration does, brings me full circle, in this space, typing away to you.

My first inspiration came from @JerryLStudio on Twitter, an amazing artist in his own right, shared the works of another artist, David Frederick Brown.  Fascinating work by Brown, and what’s even more intriguing is his inspiration for his monotype creations.  Take a look at his website here: Gary Frederick Brown – Theory Art.

Brown is influenced by String Theory from quantum physics, which is far too convoluted for me to possibly delve into… nor should I, I’m an artist, not a scientist… they both end in “-ist”, but that’s where the similarities end… or so I thought.  For a basic overview, check this site out: The Official String Theory Website.  As far as Brown is concerned however, according to his site, he is fascinated by the “elements that lend themselves to chaos”.  His influence within String Theory is highly evidenced in his work, but his faith and vision quite clearly display this foundation within his art.  Not only fascinating, but also beautifully chaotic with amazing harmony… this is my favourite thus far:

My other influence this evening comes from my friend and fellow twisted twin, Sean, a.k.a @everythingispop.  His passion for music, which he shares with honest love here: Everything Is Pop Blog is never condescending, always thoughtful and sometimes even cheeky.  I cannot possibly recall how much amazing music he has introduced me to since our chance meeting a while back, but today is no exception.  His post today reminded me that there is more to be done daily to feel what needs feeling and to see what others cannot.  Few are the people who would think to ask what colours you see when listening to music… Check his posts for some fantabulous free downloads of The Lightening Bug Situation… candy for your ears.

Through music, art and writing, I exude my passion daily, in whatever form takes me… hell, even knitting has explored some previously untapped need for woolen artworks that can be worn.  But, what I was reminded of today, that I occasionally forget, is that art is life and a day without it is not worth living.