In 2008, I left Cody Wyoming after putting my artistic talents to the acid test of reality. It was a five year goal in a small art community to test if my work could succeed in entering the real world of art. The graphic design and WWW services sustained a modest living but selling my paintings in a local gallery marked the greater goal I was trying to reach. Two and a half years into the goal, I achieved my objective and the the mythical “fear of success” set into my mind. Rational and logical pursuits into the medical field and the major distraction of dating a rodeo clown, paved the prefect path for self destruction. I quit and now I have settled down and regrouped into a new community.
The video above is a funny regard for coming out of the dark night of days gone by for the last year of my life. Mental illness is a paradoxical muse which always seems to prune the radical mistakes from life, only to bring you back to your source. It’s the age old plight of order out of chaos theory. The artist way is such a fledgling road of insanity and joy sometimes. Often within the last year I reflected upon the life’s of Johannes Vermeer and Vincent van Gogh both whom died between the ages of forty seven and forty eight. Apparently I cleared the danger zone and survived the dark night of the soul; only to continue on the path of creativity in my forty ninth year of life.
Today I prepared some paper upon the drafting table to start creating some works on paper using the mixed medium of charcoal, pastel, graphite and oil painting. Returning to the abstract arts allows for a disclosure of expression as the content takes shape within the creative process. In a new environment, among a culture so different from my cowboy western roots seems to have create a block of insecurity facing unfamiliar viewers of my art. Striving to keep my own style or discover the universal expression of art, color, form and painting before a new audience.
Fortunate for me I have found a personal muse of sort among artist friends in the area, who become excited about viewing my work or encouraging its development. So with due regard, I will push the creative block into a realm of discovery and find my way into the artistic dimension of my own soul and work again. This time last year I had laid sick in a bad for over a hundred and twenty days. February was the month I made myself get up and walk out of the darkness. I found a dark and dingy bar with music the stirred my spirit back into the light of day. The muse of sound and blues picked upon an acoustic with electric rhythm and horns echo into the dark night, freeing my darkest Africia.
“I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being abides,
from which I struggle not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which the scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind,
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn.
with my will intact to go wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered and I roamed through the wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice directed me:
-Live in the layers, not on the litter-
Though I lack the art to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written.
I am not done with my changes.”
― Stanley Kunitz, The Collected Poems