I've grabbed my Discover Card and done some drives in Vermont lately. Last week I went up to the central/northern part of VT, butted right up against the Quebec border. Quite beautiful, you can tell you are somewhere special. I thought I might get some real photos taken but I tend to just keep driving, not wanting to stop until my bladder forces me to. Its when I can think and appreciate life most...just driving with no plan and no purpose.
A few days ago I drove 330 mi. in one sitting. Went south along the NY border to Bennington and scooted over a scenic route and back up via RT 100 which I am convinced is the most magical road this side of the Mississippi. (Snake River in Idaho is a close second as far as gorgeous drives). I thought I would check out some of the towns in southern VT, wondering if they had galleries I might take a look at getting into. Yes, even though I don't wanna I automatically think that way still; I was relieved in an odd way not to see anything that beckoned a closer look. Zipping through it all and just being in the moment, in awe of the beauty of so much nature spread about with no billboards, no McDonald's, no big malls. Few homes and no hideous apartment complexes that resemble stale imaginations.
Seven and some odd hours later I got home. Tired and not caring that I just wasted a tank of gasoline. I've been doing a lot of thinking about art, about other peoples' art, my art. Art. Art. Art. For someone who has stopped making it at the moment I sure keep occupied with it in my head. I feel really good right now about not making art. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, for anyone new to this blog I care take at a house and its mostly occupied in the summer and I find it impossible to concentrate enough to work. I also have come to this strange place of paying attention to my intention about making art. Do I really have something I want/need to work on? Am I going to make art just to make art? No. At least not right now. I look back at what I have made thus far and I feel a mixed bag of emotions. I feel distanced from most of it. I can recall how challenging most of the pieces were to put together and the excitement as they unfolded before my eyes; but I've come to this place of needing to bump it up another notch. Time to really challenge myself and I am not sure what that is going to be. I just know that doing the same mixed media photography pieces over and over isn't as appealing to me unless I can be even more innovative. Working on my limited edition clock collection is even at a standstill....I feel a need to jump the tracks so to speak and let something else begin to happen with the rest of them. And the puzzle work feels like a first love that meant so much but in retrospect I can see a sweet naivete even in that body of work.
I feel my work up to this point is strong, passionate and innovative but at the same time I can see how safe it is as far as what I know is possible. I feel like a child wanting to be a grown up and its frustrating knowing one day you will ______but until then you just have to wait to grow into those shoes.
The same goes for the gallery thing. Yesterday I got a call that one of my RR Plates sold at the co-op gallery I am in. I was so happy that out of a gallery filled only with paintings on canvas, someone saw those things and 'got it'. I wished I could have met the person and been a part of that moment...its a ghostly experience to sell work via a gallery. I'm coming to terms about all that while I drive around. I feel good that I skipped doing a big art fair this weekend which would have cost me $200 just to get in let alone having to rent a booth thing etc. all to maybe sell just one piece. Instead I sold that RR Plate at the coop which only cost $60 for the season and four days of my sitting time. I've decided not to do the big Burlington Art Event coming up next month, I've been in that festival the last two years and also didn't enjoy that experience. I have to keep listening to my heart and having the courage to follow my gut; to risk feeling like I'm not doing enough or participating enough in the things that everyone else does and keep sniffing around for clues of what I do want. I need to stop being so judgemental and critical about art. Artists. Galleries etc. Just focus on myself and push the negative crap away.
That's what my driving around is doing for me so I guess it is worth the money that I think I shouldn't be spending. I think soon I might get to the coast of Maine. I'm tired of camping, tired of bugs...thinking I could do it in a day if I don't stop. I gotta keep moving and being open to people places and things. It's really easy to just freeze up and not move. Wait. Petrify. It never seems to get easier, this whole life thing. Maybe that is why driving feels so good, I get to sit and not move while I sit and move.