11.27.2012

The art of making

You know that old adage, "With great power comes great responsibility" - I'm wondering if it works in the reverse.  If you feel a sense of responsibility for something or someone, like a human life or global poverty, are you then empowered to do/fix/change/advocate for those things?  Do you think the people who are genuinely compelled for a cause or a purpose are given the ability to honor that urge?

I feel like there are a lot of folks out there with a spark for something, who may not have been given the means to do good by their ambition.  Perhaps lacking in time, resources, or the proper platform. Remember Lincoln's words, "Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition."  My question is, what do you do that that peculiar ambition?  And how do you get there?

I'd like a pair of those omen-reading stones from The Alchemist, Urim and Thummim.  

One thing I am compelled to do and I believe may play some part in bettering the world, is create.  A couple weeks ago I had my first go at soap making - a batch of orange olive oil and lavendar, respectively.  Like little soldiers, they're standing on a sheet pan, curing for four weeks before they can be used for bathing. Last week I made 108 Parker House rolls for Thanksgiving dinner.  And I've been working on a few paintings that have been germinating in my mind for months.  For me, these are all a part of what makes artistry a lifestyle and not so much an occupation.  It lies deep in your bones and calls out to you to make.  Perhaps it is also that bone-murmuring that speaks to an earnest connection with our Maker.   

On of my favorite artists is a guy from South Africa, William Kentridge.  He makes these amazing charcoal drawing videos - these incredibly transitory and ephemeral images set to music, inspired by South Africa's devastating history and remarkable hope.  He says this about drawing, "I believe that in the indeterminacy of drawing, the contingent way that images arrive in the work, lies some kind of model of how we live our lives.  The activity of drawing is a way of trying to understand who we are and or how we operate in the world.  It is in the strangeness of the activity itself that we can detect judgments, ethics, and morality."

I'm hopeful that in some of my making, I'm learning a bit more about how to live life, gaining a greater understanding of who I am and how to work out my purpose in the world.

I'll be showing (and selling) some of my work at a friend's neighborhood holiday bazaar in a couple weeks.* Here's a preview of some of what I've been working on:

Collision (Between heaven and earth)
Collage, charcoal, watercolor, and guache on paper
8" x 8"

*If you'd like more info on when and where I will be showing my work, I'd be happy to oblige.

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