I Y’am What I Y’am

Over forty artists submitted more than 180 paintings to the upcoming show. As we laid them out along the walls, which they would eventually inhabit, folks trickled into the office.  Amidst the smell of coffee and morning chatter we could hear the reviews coming in: “so exciting”; “the art show is favorite time of year”; “It bring so much life to the place!” And over and over again we heard: “the work gets better every year”.  Indeed.

What the office-dwellers cannot know, that we know, is that most of the work in the show is from the artists of ArtHouse 23. And that much of it was created in our Big Yellow House studio. And that very often the subject being painted was exactly the same. They probably can’t imagine how rare that it is for a group of people to work together, exploring the same ideas and images in the same place at the same time with basically the same materials and have them expressed so differently.

I read recently in someone else’s blog—the Accidental Creative- “Since the early days of the podcast we’ve closed off with the phrase ‘cover bands don’t change the world – you need to find your unique voice if you want to thrive.’” Thrive—isn’t that a good goal? Not to produce, not to make money, not to get famous, not to get acceptance, not to get gold stars, but to thrive. I love all that that implies.

If the unique, creative expressions on the walls in the large, gray office building are any indication, there’s some “thrivin’” goin’ on! Congratulations to all!

It’s not easy to know if, when and how we might find our voice. And to complicate things, if one is thriving, it is changing. Keeping it authentic takes paying attention. Being in tune with your rhythms, your likes and dislikes, what prompts strong emotions—anger, love, tears, laughter, what piques your curiosity, etc. all contributes.

If you could be dropped anywhere in the world, where would it be? What time of day would it be? What would you want to see? What would you want to hear? Is it peopled or are you alone? Are there ocean waves in the background or beeping horns? Do you want to paint the air, the earth, or you ancestors?  Those are only some of the questions that might lead to an answer or two.

I think it’s more an endless search than a goal, a never-ending story that connects with others. The act of painting facilitates.  Telling the world, or just a small piece of it, or more importantly yourself, who you are is just part of the process.

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