16 July 2012

Peak of Energy

Untitled, Art Journal Page by ~runningwave~ 2012
Art Journal Page by ~runningwave~

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 

Summer in the Chesapeake region is hot and hazy. Particularly this summer, since we had that incredible triple-digit heat wave at the end of June through the beginning of July.

Summer is also heady -- exciting, intoxicating, a peak of energy and activity.
Days are extra long, so the increased daylight seems to make everyone squeeze out every minute with being active, especially outdoors.

My world is moving on a giant burst of energy this summer, "just as things grow fast in the movies," like F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote.  I'm in the center of a whirlwind of activity, largely self-propelled.

And I'm happy about it.

I've found that I am now creating the space in my life to be creative -- in diverse ways.

I'm giving myself permission to make time for my creativity without feeling guilty, as though I should be doing something else for the benefit of others.  I've observed in the past few weeks that when I'm at my creative peak, I'm also able to think more clearly. The creative energy I give off is useful to others. People learn from me, just as I'm learning from them. People complement my artwork that I have enjoyed spending time making.

Give and take -- not really a selfish act to express yourself. I wouldn't call the great artists I've known and learned about -- visual artists, musicians, actors -- selfish for practicing with their talent. I think they are doing what the love and hoping other people can enjoy it too.

I've begun to think of myself as an artist, who happens to have a day job doing something else. This is a recent change in perspective for me. I spent many years working hard to build a career until I found a job in which I make a professional wage that rather enjoy doing. Yet, I've also had to stop and consider where my heart is.

I am no longer struggling to make ends meet like I did in long years of graduate school. Nor am I doggedly competing to find a job that I enjoy that both pays the bills and suits my talents and temperament. I've found it, so I had to ask myself "Just why, why am I not satisfied?"

My heart answers, that I did put one thing aside when I decided to move forward in a career that brought me along the path I now tread. A - R - T

I attended an art school for two years, studying  commercial photography way back when. When I reached my graduation, I wasn't all that pleased about my job prospects. In the Midwestern town where I got my degree being a woman photographer in a commercial studio was not a glamorous job unless you made it to the top of the heap. Otherwise, you'd be making the coffee for other photographers and doing the hauling of lighting equipment, until your talent got noticed. If it got noticed at all.

So, I left my art behind in pursuit of more rigorous intellectual training, which I also loved. I always thought I was glad to have been to art school, but equally glad I was not a starving artist.

Well, I certainly have my basic needs met as I sit here today. I want more, and I'm taking this seriously at last.

Not giving up my day job any time soon, but when I have the free time, you'll find me taking art classes and working in new media. Practicing and stretching my very, flabby artistic muscles.

Not sure yet, where this path is taking me, but I am exhilarated.

I feel a sense of wonder and the thrilling taste of  adventure.


  1. I love the way the art journal page turned out! It just says summer! I haven't quite been able to get to the point you are, saying that making art is important and I have to let go of the guilt of not doing other things. I'm moving very slowly in that direction. I hope I can arrive there soon! Oh, and Gatsby is one of my favorite novels!

  2. Your art journal page turned out great! I'm glad you're embracing your artistic path. It's something I need to come to a little more freely.

    Check my blog, I nominated you for an award. It's one of those pay it forward sort of things, but don't feel pressured to play along. I just wanted to recognize you for your art and your creative passion :)

  3. Hi,
    I just found your blog through Carrie at Pocketsizestudio - I've really enjoyed browsing it, and your journal page is beautiful - very serene. I also LOVE the cigar box in your previous post - those images are wonderful and it's an era I love too - you've captured it beautifully. I'm sure I shall be popping back to visit and see what you are up to - thanks for sharing your lovely work.

  4. Why, thank you for visiting Diana, and nice to meet you. Do please come and comment again sometime.

    I make my art to share. I'm always happy when other people enjoy what I make. Believe it or not, this and the cigar box are just exercise! I'm trying to stretch my artistic muscles, but I haven't even run in the race yet.