Being in the outdoors re-fills my creative wells and energizes my spirit like nothing else. The big wide open spaces, big sky, interesting geology, wild rivers, black bears, green trees, canyons and mountains for hiking, lakes and hot springs for swimming and, I am sold. I am in love with the north. I am as passionate being in the outdoors as I am about painting.
On my way up to the Nahanni River in the North West Territories of Canada we stopped through Yellow Knife and I had a day to peruse shops, enjoy the local scenery and experience some of their fabulous northern cuisine. I picked up a few souvenirs at a few of the local artisans galleries. One of them being a soapstone carving of an “Inukshuk”.
Here is a photo of my little Inukshuk nestled into my “Heaven on Earth” studio window still along with some other goodies. Nothing like toys in your creative space!
Inukshuk’s are little stone figures made to look like men. The Inuit people of the north would build large Inukshuks’ in order to mark a path or give some kind of helpful information to fellow traveler’s to come. The human like stone form could say “ you’re on the right track, keep on” or “good fishing here”. They were left as positive guides.
I think positive sign posts and guides are a essential for artists. We need to expect them. Ok this painting is working out, I’m on the right track. Wow, those couple hours in the studio sure felt fun last night, I’m on the right track. I’ve sold quite a few art pieces in the last few years, I’m on the right track. I really love being an artist…..and so on.
Sometimes we feel like we might be off the track, that things may not be going how we intended. At this most recent show I had at the Sojourner Café, I did not sell a single painting. I have never had this experience of not selling art work I’ve put on display. How lucky am I?
Perhaps I could be discouraged or feel like I’m off track. Not at all. I wasn’t too surprised at these results for a number of reasons. But more importantly I gained a lot from doing this show and this series of 18 paintings. I painted a body of work and became a stronger artist and person for doing this. The show gave me a deadline. I’ve never worked with collage before and this series gave me the freedom to explore using paper with paint. And most importantly I painted this work for myself, to express deep feelings and release them in a way that would contribute instead of destroy. These paintings were healing. Regardless of what happens I feel I was on my right track when I was painting these works.
So perhaps I have not sold any of these paintings yet, but I trust they will find their homes to the right person at the right time. Meanwhile my Inukshuk sits on my studio sill and reminds me I am on the right track. And I know that I am.