Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I do not feel like drawing or painting today. I'm worn out from several days on the road - three days of meetings in SC and back here in NC. I do a decent imitation of an extrovert, and it always costs me double later. It's a stressful time at work. That always makes me feel trapped.

But the drawing and painting seem to have completely cut off the old escape dreams. I used to day dream of disappearing alone, and without identity, to the wide open space of New Mexico. Sagebrush, rabbit brush, scrubby junipers, yucca. Huge skies. A simple manual job of some kind with little mental stress. Tiny place to live with almost no possessions but a way to get to and from a decent library. I'd never have acted on this - knew that I could never have been happy even half a day away from my family on such a flight - but the thought of it kept me sane some days.

Painting is where my imagination roams now. I wonder brightly colored places that sometimes seem real to me. They're certainly important to me. Bringing even a shadow of them onto paper where I and others can look at them is satisfying, now that I no longer expect perfect replication.
That's my occasional reach towards art. I'm trying to find this inner kingdom, bring it closer to the surface, and paint it's gleeful simplicity. That's what I, "want to paint," to finally answer Marvin Saltzman's question to me as a painting student years ago. Autumn comes close. Cats and Koi does, too. But they aren't playful enough, not free enough. There isn't enough laughter there yet. I'm still reaching. I'm still shedding my adultish monitoring, my overrated sense of rightness, perspective, organization, aesthetics. I'm striving back after a more childlike expression.

Now I feel like drawing. Headphones on...


Alex M. said...

I think the desire for a simpler existence is universal. Wanting to live with no responsibilities to anyone other than yourself is a longing that every adult flirts with occasionally. I can see that sentiment in your "Church of the Great Outdoors" picture.

Steve Emery said...

Yes, the church of the ultimate quiet - no other members nearby. We all enjoy the worship in our separate groves... Many would say this isn't much like church. And I might answer, "Exactly."