I can hardly believe how fast time flies. The past year has been a whirlwind for me and there has been a lot of growth in my art. This has been a little overwhelming, I have always balanced my career with family life and now the family is adjusting to more responsibilities and independence and I am spending more time in the studio. The house is a little messier, the dust gathers and stays a little longer, and meals have become haphazard to say the least. I have many art events on the horizon and will post as they all get closer. It is a very exciting time, and while it feels a bit crazy and out of control at times, (especially with two boys home on summer break, one preparing to get his drivers license and first summer job) I am trying to remember to take quiet moments to feel appreciation and say thanks for the wonderful events transpiring in my life. I know from experience that life is full of ups and downs, high points and low points, and like the wisdom of the yin/yang--one must know that everything is a cycle and extremes will balance each other over time. Summers are usually much more hectic for me than the rest of the year. Right now I may be busier than ever, but it won't be like this forever and I must enjoy every minute of the ride! Especially with my boys.
In the next few months I will be concentrating on sticking with a schedule and staying focused. I have many new ideas for paintings taking form which have been swirling about in my mind for quite a while. My mind is like the tea cup that is so full of ideas at times that it runs over and I become overwhelmed. I have a hard time picking and choosing where to start and which idea is 'the best'. Sometimes I get hung up here for a long time before I can start new work.
“Once, a university professor went to visit a Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked continuously about Zen, his thoughts, his ideas, his understands and his questions… As he spoke the master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, but then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself “It’s full! No more will go in!” the professor blurted. “You are like this cup,” the master replied, “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”"
Balancing so many responsibilities in life while pursing my art and trying to find time to 'empty the cup' and become still is quite difficult. I know that things become clear only when my mind is clear. I have to remind myself that life isn't going to slow down any time soon and only I can control what I give my energy and time to. In the mornings I have been taking more walks and, before the boys are awake, I sit at my desk in my studio and just... be.... still. It is my favorite time of day and I love being in my studio in the cool, quiet light of the morning. This is where I find my balance amid the extremes.
"The most important thing is to have a studio and establish and preserve its atmosphere... You must clean and arrange your studio in a way that will forward a quiet state of mind. This conscious care of atmosphere is really needed to show respect for the work. Respect for art work and everything connected with it, one's own and that of everyone else, must be maintained and forwarded. No disrespect, carelessness or ego selfishness must be allowed to interfere if it can be prevented. Indifference and antagonism are easily detected. You should take such people out immediately. Just turning the paintings to the wall is not enough." Agnes Martin