So much of my creative energy during this past year has been spent reworking old ideas and finishing up old projects. I haven’t been able to fully move on from them even though they have ceased to nourish my creative spirit.
Although events in my outer life have shifted I’ve been feeling stuck between the old and new. Mid year I moved to a cottage in a part of the State I haven’t lived in before. Although I’ve been out and about seeing new sights I haven’t really engaged with this new environment. In private moments I find myself wishing I could go to the empty beaches and bush tracks I walked for so long and which are now so far away.
On lonely beaches
drumming in the solstice
– windswept prayers
Such a strange contrary urge for the old area had gone stale for me and doors were closing in my face left, right and centre. I was totally ready to move on…
yet here I am – still not fully embracing the new.
Yesterday I got utterly sick of doing the same old same old. During a break in the rain I jumped in my car and drove out to a nearby seaside town. It is a town rich in history. The streets are lined with beautiful old Victorian mansions and there is an atmosphere of grace and elegance to the place that is missing in many Australian towns.
Several galleries are dotted along the main street. I visited one after the other. In one I saw exquisite prints local artists had created in the printmaking studio behind the gallery. In another I saw very commercial art that didn’t appeal to me yet was inspiring in its competence. In the third I came across an exhibition of contemporary landscape painting. Very small oil paintings in one uniform size lined a long wall of the gallery. The rest of the space contained one large painting, the gallery owner’s desk and a large storage area.
Walking the length of the gallery I stopped in front of each painting. Because of their small size each little painting invited intimate inspection – a slowing down and taking the longer look. By the time I retraced my footsteps and left the gallery I felt I’d had a meaningful and soulful conversation with a sensitive, creative soul.
In a reflective mood I returned to my car. Rain was approaching and the first drops splattered across my windscreen as I drove to a lookout. There I pulled out the new Smart Phone I got last week. It was time I figured out how to take photos with it.
The colours of the rain soaked landscape and unusual shapes of the old buildings captured my imagination.
The visual art I’d just seen had loosened something in my mind and the veil of the old that had been clouding my perception began to lift. For the first time since moving here I began to get glimpses of how I can live and create in this new environment.
lighting the way forward
– the old year ends