Sunday, January 23, 2011

So many ideas, not enough hours in the day!

Here we are, a little more than mid way through January 2011.  For some reason, my muse is running on way too much caffeine and providing more than its fair share of ideas.  Do not get me wrong, I am not complaining. I love to have more ideas than I need at present to capture on canvas.  I just wish I knew what spurred on this spurt of ideas and where they are coming from and maybe why.  If I had the answers to these questions, then maybe the next time I have a dry spell, I could refer back to the answers to these questions and find my inspiration all over again.

Inspiration is a funny thing.  It wakes you up in the middle of the night to whisper into your ear the start of what could turn out to be an extremely wild and colourful canvas and to do it on the 24" square one, if you please.  My muse is quite specific in many areas and demands that I up the size of the canvases that I have been working on and to take more chances.  Consequently, I have gone ahead and bought 6 of this particular size as well as two canvases that have been cut into four triangular pieces.  One of these forms a 17" square canvas and the second one, a 27" square canvas.  I have these sitting in my studio/bedroom where I see them each morning when I wake up along with the 24" square pieces.  Just running my hand over a piece of canvas sends shivers down my spine.  I want to tackle these with the perfect subject matter ready to be splashed in vivid colours forming the definitive piece of work that when looked at by others, would be immediately identified as being a "Rutheemac" creation.  Truthfully, I sign my paintings simply "Ruthee" as I feel using my first name is sufficient and will hopefully one day be recognized.

I am not sure what would be my definitive area of painting that would immediately be identified as being symbolic of me.  Maybe, I am not sure of whom I am supposed to be or what I am supposed to represent.  My muse has not informed me of any of this, leaving me grasping the air to find the answers on my own.
Who am I?  What do I represent?  Where do I want to go with this art project?  Project does not seem to be the right word, but I am not sure what word to put in its place.  It is not so much a project, but could more aptly described as my journey.  And that is it!  Right now, I am on a journey.   I work "in the moment" just as the inscription on my ring states.  In that moment, I might paint an autumnal scene on a windy day, a triptych of inspirational words to encourage others along with myself, not to give up, but rather keep moving, keep dreaming, keep believing.

Keep believing, but in what?  In my mind, "keep believing" means that I need to keep believing in myself and in what I am capable of doing.  I need to keep believing that I am meant to be painting.  And, I do believe that.  I think that is why I tackled my bedroom/studio to put it into some type of order to maximize the amount of available work space.  The room is small, there are only so many ways that I can arrange the furniture to give me the space I need to move around safely.  I use a walker to move about.  Not only does this device allow me to move about safely, but it also allows me to carry more items than I normally would when I am setting up my work station for another session.  Empty kitty litter containers become "large pails" to transport a multitude of tubes of paint, my brushes, gesso, a file folder of inspiration and so on.  I keep a modest collection of calendars as inspiration.  Some of the illustrations are amazing and I research the artist online to find out more about him or her, what inspired them or any other information that might give me a clue of what that particular artist was thinking when they painted a series of paintings.

Then, after setting up my work station, I sit back and ponder what it is that I should be painting today.  I sit quietly, music playing softly in the background, and think.  I let my mind jump here and there, flitting about much like a butterfly, collecting ideas which I jot down in a little notebook.  There might be the occasional phrase, but more than likely the page will hold a collection of single words.  I look at the page trying to find some common thread amongst all these words and try to make sense of them.  Sometimes, the message or idea appears right away, other times, I need to dig a little deeper to find the message or at least get a sense if the painting is supposed to capture a feeling, express an opinion or just provide a calm respite in a world so high tech that texting is the normal way of communicating and e-mail is preferred over regular mail sent through the post.  What a shame!  How sad that young women will not collect a box of letters sent to them by a special person.  The letters read over and over, then carefully put back into a pretty box, tied up with a blue ribbon.  Maybe I am just an old romantic soul at heart (and yes, I am), but e-mails will not have the same impact as the very old fashioned letter that had been written with a fountain pen in a special blue ink.

How strange!  I was not sure what I was going to write for this post and yet, the words just seemed to appear on the page by themselves.  My muse must now be guiding my writing too!  And by guiding my writing, I now know what I need to paint.  Please note that I said "that I need to paint" and not "what I plan to paint."  There is a huge difference in the phrasing.  Yes, I need to paint and now I know what the subject of my painting(s) will be.  I owe a big debt of gratitude to my muse.  I hope I can do justice to what it is that it wants me to communicate through my painting.  But, I do promise that I will put every ounce of energy into what is going on the canvas.  My muse and I will accept nothing less than putting every ounce of energy, every bit of care and every last morsel of myself onto this canvas.  That is just the way I work, the way every artist works.  The next time you visit an art exhibit, take the time to really look into the soul of the paintings and see if you can find a message.  There really is one there if you take the time to look for it and I hope you are lucky enough to find it.  If you do, please make a point of telling the artist if he or she is there.  Or, talk to them about what inspired them to put together that particular painting.  I am sure there is a story to be told, but it will only come to light if you are inquisitive enough to look for and/or ask about it.

Sincerely,   Rutheemac
P.S.  I am posting two paintings that I did this week.  Both are florals, two of what will be a series of three.  I have the feeling that I will likely tinker with these paintings a bit, so I do not consider them finished as yet.  While I cannot say what exactly it is that I want to work on, I just feel that both need just a little finessing to complete them. 

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