After all these years

Linda Fairchild (my San Francisco gallery owner) came by yesterday afternoon for a look at my paintings. It’s been a while since she was here so she could see what is happening, see what is changing even more clearly than I can. But then, she does have an uncanny eye for what is needing to be developed or exorcized from my work. This time, when after an hour of looking at various “finished” paintings, I pulled out two (46“ x 46”) pieces I’ve been struggling with, pieces I just don’t know where to go with them. Or didn’t. Linda was very excited, pinpointing the changes and encouraging me to stay with them. I had been ready to give up on them.

After she left, I went for a walk in Point Pleasant Park with Sean, then dinner and to the opening reception at Fred’s for the launch of the Halifax Art Map, with the artists showing their work. I have a painting in the exhibit. At dinner, I told Sean about my afternoon with Linda, told him how unsettled I feel, ungrounded and he laughingly pointed out that I had the biggest smile on my face he’d seen all day.

So it seems, being ungrounded is a happy state of being. For me.  Certainly one I am accustomed to feeling. Yet this morning, when I went into my studio, I felt very angry at Linda for encouraging me to step off this particular cliff. I thought, why did she have to come visit. I almost cried; I almost left my studio. But then, because I value my studio time and tend to like a challenge, ultimately, something clicked.  I delved into the work and became absorbed in this process of uncertainty and change. The end result is very exciting.

What seems to be happening is a moving into the center of the paintings. Something I’ve found difficult for a long time. There are also several more layers revealed in the work. That makes them more open, more porous. And me, more vulnerable. It’s okay.