What does it take to get a professional, mid-career artist to take a week off to paint just for paints sake? Between show deadlines, keeping galleries updated with fresh work, marketing, advertising, admin stuff and having a family life of some sort, how can I possibly take a week off to paint with friends off the grid?
Imagine, no deadlines, no specific paintings to be created for a show or gallery… just putting paint down for the sake of painting… How do I convince my guilt ridden self to take off from my responsibilities at home, husband, 12 year old son, one year old puppy, and the studio to recharge my batteries?
Especially after taking two years off of teaching workshops to work on my craft!
Which really didn’t happen as I envisioned. I wanted to take a couple workshops, delve deeper into the foundations of picture making… Well, who knew I would spend the new found time in a depressed creative state, not painting at all, and telling myself I should quit painting. This has never happened before. I’m a cyclic painter, in production mode for a few months, then, time spent working on other things like framing, delivering new work, advertising, family stuff. If I get down then I just show up for work at the easel, start making marks, and I am off again on some creative adventure.
I digress, this monologue is about painting for the sake of painting, but… don’t all those elements go into being an artist? The ups and downs, the workload, keeping it all fresh and new… What happens when you don’t feel the passion, or lose the momentum that keeps you moving through a creative path of change? What happens when your inner dialog is killing your mojo, telling you that nothing you paint is good enough? What happens when an outside person of importance says it is time to change it all up, do something different, crazy, unexpected? Do you force change in your process? Do you say “eff you” to that person? Or realize there is an element of truth to his/her suggestion because you have been feeling it all along?
“Ugh, whine no more, Woman!!” I say this to myself all the time. I know how fortunate I am to be able to do what I love for a living. I am thankful to my family, who supports me through the roller coaster ride of professional creativity. And it all comes down to painting. Keeping the brush, or pastel stick moving. Engaging your brain through inspiration of word, music, the visual arts and humanity.
So, yes! I can take a week off to paint with my like-minded artist friends, in a truly inspiring place that requires some effort to get to because it makes the experience that much greater.
Hauling up the granite walls that frame Shadow Creek on the way to Ediza Lake. Well worth the 2000ft elevation gain!
The opportunity to recharge my creative juices is a blessing, a necessity, something that must be a requirement for every artist.
I am grateful to have joined seven other artists, including our dear Lori Putnam on an adventure to the Eastern Sierra’s last week. We laughed, dined, painted and repeated for six days. Our experience, a small slice of heaven, with a nightly bear appearance, a coyote drive-by, and just putting pigment down for the sake of pushing paint around.
Part way up a scramble, I just had to paint before I reached these exquisite falls for my Sierra Selfie.
Paintings for paints sake!! ;-)
Descending to Agnew Meadows.
On the way back to Agnew Meadows, I reflect on the preciousness of time and how easy it is to waste what little we are given. I encourage you to take a little bit of time off to just do something that puts a smile on your face and makes you breath deeply. I did.
Refreshed, restored, renewed… It was truly worth taking a week off the grid to paint just for paints sake.
Sincerely, Kim Lordier
Photography and artwork 2016 Kim Lordier
Visit Kim's website to see more of her work.