Painting. That must be so relaxing.
Todays blog signals another anniversary because in September
2004, my first entry arrived in the blogosphere. That was back
when typing the word blogosphere would have set
off my spell checker, but today it doesnt. Progress.
Writing a monthly blog has allowed me the privilege of reflecting
on art and poetry and to report how such a commitment plays
out in daily life. This months title came from a curious
nurse who wondered what I did when I wasnt lying in a
I write and paint. Usually, people ask What
do you write? and when I say Poetry the conversation
flags, then dies. Instead, the nurse said, Painting. That
must be so relaxing. My answer was, Not as much
as youd think.
After she left, I tried to understand our conversation. Was
she imagining a white-haired old lady, straw hat perched on
her head, standing at her easel in a field of flowers, paintbrush
in hand, a smile playing on her lips? If so, that would be fine.
Except it wouldnt be me out there, communing with nature.
Id be in my studio, sweating it out, trying to make something
out of a nothingness that marks each new beginning. I understand
that I will need to work through the mess of uncertainty in
search of a resolved painting. I take the risk of accepting
failure and learning from it. But, the audible click of joy
when I got it! happens is all the nourishment necessary
to bring me into the studio.
Painting is work and takes an immense amount of energy. Not
having that energy threatens my existence and makes me ask,
What if my most recent painting was my last? While
I believe there is no end to inspiration, I know that physical
strength is necessary to survive interruptions in production.
I opened this blog with a quotation from Renoir, who was afflicted
with rheumatoid arthritis. He had his paintbrushes strapped
to his hands and painted until the day he died. Its time
for me to cut the boo-hooing and get back to work.