Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Great Beyond

I have been a working artist for three years in March: March 31st, to be exact.
That was my last day as a receptionist in Los Angeles.

These three years have been the most incredible, challenging, gratifying, lovely and short years of my whole adult life. Working for yourself pushes every boundary you try to construct, undoes your most concrete plans and sometimes leaves you breathless, without a rock to stand on.

This is exciting; this is life at its least predictable and most raw. I would imagine having a baby or being a field journalist in a war-torn country would be much more intense, but for now, for me, this is the knife edge I choose to balance upon.

Having my work copied has been such a remarkable, infinitely valuable gift - the feeling of safety I had from creating what I found to be completely original pieces was a lullaby I wore like armor... a myth, really: there is no safety in creation.

This realization has made for dark moments, has sent me down rivers of icy fear and left my tooling bench empty for the better part of a month, save custom orders and feeble attempts at 'pushing through', which any artist knows is a fallacy:
you are either filled or empty: very seldom is there a half-way point, and when you incorporate muscling into your creations it has a tendency to crush the very delicate thing you most want to set free:

This brings me to the point of sharing: I have found inspiration in this season of death, meaning I have embraced my winter, held the sense of cold and still that change brings.
My biggest inspiration over the last few weeks has been the bird skull found on Wright's Beach:

I am tooling something using its image.

It is on a canvas that may be finished.

In my dream last night, Anthony told me what kind of bird it was: I woke up without the knowledge, but I remember it was a bird I really loved and Dream Allison was very, very happy to learn its identity.

After three years of tooling things that are alive and vibrant, I am reaching down deep to retrieve a pearl buried in a piece of something once living, now gone.

This is a very new place, a thrilling new adventure.



Runs4fun said...

what a thoughful and sensitive post, full of feeling, and full of growth. good for you for pushing through.

life is indeed fleeting, and it goes EVEN faster when you're busy and motivated (or so it seems).

brings to mind the following:

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

ecclesiastes 3:1-8

sending you always.

The Noisy Plume: said...

That birds is yours (I mean a million different things by this...).
I'm so proud of you.

See you in a jiff!

jessi sawyer said...

There is something hauntingly beautiful about bones. They become so much more than just a structure when the outside fades away.

Cholula Mae the equine cheers March 31st with you, as that is her birthday (8th to be exact).

Char said...

How very cool Allison! Keep on doing what you're doing. Always a breath of fresh air to read your blog! ;-D

sylvestris said...

Takes a lot of courage and an open heart to see into this recent episode as you have done...and to let it transform you, and then you it. Wow, well done!



reconstructing sarah said...

oh, i love the painting and the emerging leather piece. it really speaks to me...maybe there is something deep in me that i didn't even know. thank you for being such an inspiration.

dailycoyote said...

oh my god you're so amazing
xoxo x xoxo
root energy around my neck and it's brought on a massive epiphany that has set me free! thanks for what you put into your work..............

UmberDove said...

You know bird skulls cause my heart to skip a beat.

I appreciate so much the vulnerability of other artists in these places that I too frequent. That knife edge you're standing on is such a liminal space, a threshold between then and now, between the physical world and the spiritual, the very brink of leaving behind yesterday to the kind filter of memory.

I'll be waiting with baited breath to see where you go.

Good Girls Studio said...

You gave me goose bumps {shiver}! Can't wait to see where this journey takes you!