Friday, October 1, 2010

I'm Learning - Soul Dance

The lady emerged over a few weeks, as I sat in my car at lunch. Taking out my sketch book for 5, maybe 10 minutes at a time, I would either flip pages in the book, looking for something specific to work on or simply open it, allowing a blank page or previous work to guide my hand. These were "interesting days," where I only allowed myself these small breaks, to consider practicing what I love. Yeah, I got "issues."

As I said, she slowly came forward, actually, without my noticing until I saw the sway of her brown hips and ample rear moving amidst splashes of color. Excitement didn't overtake me, forcing me to complete the image; having other pictures and responsibilities to attend to in this short period of time, I worked on it as I had time. Currently, I'm concentrating my energies in the part of the drawing where Red seems to be cooling.

I'm learning in such works, to allow it to gather it's own strength and tell its own story. There are certainly times, as I sit before paper or a canvas, I have a title and story in mind. There are times when the message is clear and I can tell it, start to finish before I begin. But in cases like Soul Dance, I sit before the paper, with the same Right-Brain freedom my mom exhibited years ago; it was as though her hand knew to draw a flower or a cube, but didn't need the full concentration of cognitive thought. While on the phone, she would have a sheet of loose leaf paper nearby or in the corner of her phone book, she would sketch. And in that moment the door was opened on my own brand of creativity.

I'm learning to allow the work - the message - to define itself. In the swirls above the dancer's head, there is this sense of sky and worlds 'above.' At her feet is a world cooling down to something concrete. And in the middle, she dances about, spinning and gathering the forces of both.

I'm leaning to see with eyes that understand the marks on the page, hear the music playing (though no one can hear) and to be attuned to a words whispered.