Monday, February 18, 2008

Love of a Gravely Voice and Surrendering to Process

Image from Amazon.

For years I've been haunted by a gravely voice. I would hear this voice in snippets at coffee shops, at the movie house, but only brief seconds. My ears would perk up, the voice would captivate me. Who is that? Tom Waits maybe? I adore Tom, but not quite. Through the miracle of Netflix, I found the source of the voice and fell in love this weekend with Leonard Cohen. I watched Cohen's movie, I'm Your Man.

The only thing I know about Leonard Cohen, is that I want to know more about him. While watching the film, I found myself fast forwarding through the parts where other artists were speaking about him or singing his songs. I felt pangs of guilt at the disrespect to these artists, but I was intrigued by Leonard. I could not get enough. His words captivated me as much as his mysterious voice has. And his creative process is almost, well, spiritual. As I listened to him, I thought of surrender.

Surrendering to the process is a great leap in the evolution of an artist and brings peace. No longer do you worry about perfection or outside acceptance. You simply create because you must. The destination is as important - or maybe even more so - than the goal. Or as Leonard more eloquently put it:

"You abandon your masterpiece and you sink into your masterpiece."

These words seem appropriate for the new chapter I'm beginning in my life. No longer kicking and screaming, I am sinking into my life. We are art. Our lives are our canvas.

As I sink into my art, I find that I am captivated by images from below the oceans and sea, and in the sky and beyond. I am fascinated by organic shapes and weather phenomenon. How would these images that haunt me play out on a canvas, set to the music of Leonard Cohen? I intend to find out this weekend.

For now, I do not have time to paint. But I have time to contemplate paintings that I love.

“…from blindness and snow, soft slope in two pinks” by Monique Van Genderen at the Happy Lion Gallery.

"A Glimpse of an Underwater Forest" and "Poplars in the Rain" by Etsy user Irenemachine. I am in love with these paintings. These are paintings I wish were my own achievements. Stunning in their deceptive simplicity. These paintings are actually multilayered. Rain is something I've not achieved satisfactorily on canvas as yet. Maybe, the answer is to sink into the canvas.

"The Power of Attraction" by Amy Boling. Proof that melancholy can be a beautiful thing. I find this painting so romantic. I do not presume to know Amy's intent, I can only say what I see. A ghostly figure, protecting these homes. This figure is highly contemplative. And what are those oval figures? Reality spheres? Bubbles of possibility?

What do these paintings have in common? I feel as if the artist surrendered to the process. I could sit and contemplate these works for hours, with a cup of Colombian coffee and listening to Leonard Cohen on vinyl, of course.

1 comment:

casapinka said...

Love this post, Peggy!


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