It's always a bit bumpy the first few days back to school. The air is changing, invisible bubbles filled with cool air pop as I move past them. I reminded myself of this, this morning while I walked on the road. It's always a bit bumpy the first few days back. Visiting summer guests have left, laundry is folded. Only bird voices on the deck. Nuts dropping on the garage roof.
I took this photo at Golden Ears Provincial Park. There are old growth stumps in these woods as big as cars. I stood there and tried to imagine what it must have looked like. The trees were monsters and much farther apart in contrast to these 3rd growth Fir that seem to be packed tight, barely any light coming through the canopy. I am reminded of Emily Carr of course. She got to see the old growth forests firsthand. As I mentioned in an earlier post I have little interest in painting the woods but I like to take the odd picture if the light is just right. This is in keeping with my naturalist spirit.
I am feeling at sixes and sevens, not quite here, not quite there. I need to get back to work of course, break the summertime habits of broken up time and late starts. Make some fucking money! With 10 empty hours stretched out ahead of me I felt a bit directionless and on edge this week. I've let a lot of things slide over the summer and the danger is to think about them all at once. I decide to be kind and take a few days to adjust to what is coming next.
I decide to mow the lawn.
Running the lawnmower means you have to be aware of your extremities and the grasses extremities and all the plants too. So it gave me some time to think about various things while performing a physical task which seems to help the brain make sense of things. Change is always a bit startling and I think it's important to sort of sit with things sometimes.
There is no point in arguing with my inertia when it comes to certain work. It's an ugly road to go down so I think it's reasonable to surrender and do something else rather than grouse and do nothing. As far as art goes. I have no answers. I'm thinking. I'm reading. All I know is when I slip into making something time passes and I feel productive. Those questions, why? Why do it? Why this? are quick to appear though and honestly I am baffled about it all. I try to carry on.
Even now, blogging with the pressure of a client deadline looming over me, I am having a hard time feeling committed to the activity of writing but I also can't stop myself because the longer I write the more I sink into it the more is revealed. Sorry to constantly repeat that metaphor for doing creative work, but that is how it feels to me, falling in, being overcome by, and I never know what I can reasonably put off while I take the time to explore this world of artmaking, whatever that means. Painting, sewing, felting, god forbid writing.
Today I spent time painting the big barn doors on my rental. It's a job that has been needing attention for two years. It took 3 hours. And I enjoyed doing it. Fuck! So the point is to do something and in between think about the projects I am working on and don't feel like I have to be at my desk to do this work, necessarily. The point is to accomplish something everyday and enjoy the process. Everyday could be rainbows and unicorns! The point is I have to work at all this stuff all the time and I can't stop because I want to find out what I have to say.
My dad at VAG with Douglas Coupland
I saw the Douglas Coupland show with my dad. We went spontaneously one Sunday afternoon in late July. We flew through it like a couple of maniacs, but it almost seemed like it was set up that way, the ideas were very clear, the pieces were well executed, it felt familiar, based on furnishings, pop art and everyday products. It was interesting. Smart and stylish with a narrative I could relate to. My dad was a bit skeptical, but it's no wonder. They are of different generations and DC has always been about a very generational specific viewpoint. My dad had trouble with the idea that a writer was making paintings. I can relate to the work, he is organizing the things he likes and understands and that is a damn good exercise and what I guess I am doing here.
P.S. My dad is fine. We've seen him a few times over the summer. I probably have a lot more to say on that topic but seeing this show with him was like exercising a long practiced ritual. My dad took me to the VAG at about age 10 when I first saw a work by Ed Ruscha.
It's starting to rain now. The cloud cover makes it darker than it really is. I did see the last gasp of the suns rays on the tops of the cedars to the east. The rain stops and starts, rattles the leaves, cools the air, breaks the tension.
School always starts on the Wednesday before Labor Day so that it takes 2 weeks before the kids have a full 5 day week. I appreciate this humane build up to full operating speed. After a two month break it takes time to get back to the routine of working long days. Practice, practice, practice, get back to the practice.