My art practice has always been tied into what is happening around me. I am constantly seeing and hearing things that really need to be manifested as visual. In any given day I probably get 30 ideas for pieces.
That’s the easy part but what’s more difficult is trying to decipher if it merits the attention and energy I will would put into it.
I used to kind of flip around from concept to idea to concept, but now I tend to work longer and more intensely with one to three areas at a time. Right now, my focus is on disenfranchised older women, rage, and always, some concept of beauty. Generally this manifests as nature.
I am trying to make better sense of the world as she spins around. I really don’t care much to make art without a clear concept. That bores me. Some is mind expanding and profound or quiet and subtle, like the ways that fireflies twinkle and glow in the dark grasses. All of it contains a concept or truth or very subtle energy that I want to make known.
Art is something I do for me, to make moving through life more conscious and to create understandings or revelations for viewers. Much of what I see around me is slightly below the surface. The universe has an undercurrent of energy, be that rage or pain or tenderness and joy. I want to keep my eyes open to the undercurrent. It’s a way of moving around and always trying to fully engage my eyes and senses Things capture my attention and I become frozen. It’s as if I am suddenly in that moment becoming a connection to what I see. I love that state, being completely mesmerized by some person or words as they speak or grass blowing around or a weird spot on the concrete.
I find my life as a creative person very fulfilling and I know that it comes from a huge drive to communicate. Communication is the key to my work’s success and my life’s happiness. When I make art that makes people see or feel something new or strange or beautiful I have succeeded. And I have some compulsion to point out the more absurd thing people in power decide to put on the rest of us. I used that way of working quite a lot when I first started making art about AIDS. Some of it was purely personal feelings driven and some of it was social commentary.
Making art is as important to me as breathing or eating or talking. I couldn’t function in this world without using this gift. It’s how I have learned to contemplate reality, to make sense of the things around me. I read a line recently that talked about someone whose friends were retiring. His response was that he would be working through lunch on the day of his funeral. That’s pretty much how I feel about making art. Got to do it til I die.