During these times of dissolution and retraction, there is also a place where we are left room for expansion. You know the old story, when one door closes, another one opens. This is not folly.
As a creative I often crave opportunities to shut the rest of the world out and obsessively paint. With the mandates and shut downs, I have been given the opportunity to do just that. And when I obsess, things happen. Recently, a "thing" has happened.
This new style on wood is what I call the "Singing of the Trees." Because I hear them. During the fires, before this series, I had hiked deep into the forest. I was distraught and depressed about the destruction of our planet and heartbroken for the animals and trees that were being devastated. I began to talk to the earth on this hike. I apologized for what humans have done. I thanked mother earth for her bounty in supporting humans as we try to survive this massive population run by greed and avarice. I sobbed. I hiked. I got lost and hiked longer. But the forest became very quiet and the small animals started to come out and take me in. They listened. Tilted their heads. They did not warn each other of me. Only watched and listened to my outpouring.
After going home I had access through an artist that was moving, to some birch wood panels. She was offering them for sale for a low price. I bought up the entire lot. I had no idea what I was going to do. But once the wood was in front of me, I could see into the rings of the wood. Their life story. The colors called to me and the shapes created a world of their own. For me it was soothing. For the audience as well.
I feel the expansion of my mind as an artist happening. All day I stay in and paint. Day, after day after day. I push out anything outside of painting so the distractions are not taking me away from the energy of the story in the trees. I have recently acquired a friend who is a wood worker. We plan to create beautiful furniture together. Really hoping to use reclaimed wood and not contribute to the destruction of anymore trees.
I have a magazine out of New York that is doing an editorial on me. Giving me voice to share the message of the trees. And just today, was discovered by a gallery and nature advocate that wants to bring attention to climate needs and sustainability. I have already reached out to see how I can become involved for the trees.
All of this happening because a pandemic pushed me into my house. And the economy is forcing me to find my way and grow...or quit and get a 9-5 job.
So I am raising my prices to reach a broader audience. I am raising my creative standards to reach a higher potential. And I am raising the bar because the trees, forests, mountains, and all mountain life, need our attention. We need to realize that our carbon footprint now is massive with all of the fires. We need to replant at a rapid rate and give the lungs of the planet a helping hand.
"I can't breathe" - is the message of 2020. I don't want to sit back doing nothing and wait to see what the message of 2021 becomes. When we look away, we perish.