Can’t sleep.


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One of the few pieces of art of mine I have hanging up. Could this be a prophetical sketch of the kitchen window that was to become ours months after I drew this? Complete with medicinal herbs, careworn books, and weathered window sill. I remember thinking when I drew it ‘Why not a pie on the window sill? What kind of a house has spices on the window sill?’

2 artists, where time stands still.

I’m up late and can’t sleep. I found myself thinking about 2 pictures and 2 sculptures we made, which are presently in our home. More importantly, I was thinking about the mental places we’re transported to when we create art. Kevin and I derive different things from creating, but we both go to the same space.

In 2009, during our 2-hour marketing meetings at work, my mind was brimming with ideas faster than I could sketch. Every week our marketing team sat in a cool, darkened conference room lit only by an overhead projector. Comforted by the monotone voices reporting on this or that, I easily entered into the world my drawing offered.

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How desperate do you need to be to bless water and a handful of seeds before you plant?

Settled in with a small note pad with just the right smoothness and a soft-leaded pencil, I began to sketch – sometimes furiously. These moments are like praying to me. All people should have an activity that completely engulfs them so they are no longer aware of themselves. (My apologies and appreciation to my former boss – I really did keep an ear out during the meetings as well.)

In spite of the spirituality of it, I’ve found this hypnotic head-space is a dangerous place to be. Time stands still there, and often I find the mental indulgence creates drawings which seem to hold some type of significance in the things to come, which mostly freaks me out.

As far as psychic stuff goes it’s pretty useless. Like an impending waterfall over a cliff, none of the drawings make sense until I’m nearly in the moment they foretold. To prove this once, I sketched a coworker’s apartment, down to where he spent the most time and where he prayed, and later saw and touched the actual items I only saw in my mind’s eye – I was like, wow. Other than amusement, of what use was this?

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Kevin’s bent wood sculpture.

Like a thermal camera, I could sense where activity was frequent, positive or negative, which is great if you’re an international spy. There were times I could ‘feel’ the surface of a glass table versus a wooden one.  Now I try to resist the urge to draw. What I used to completely enjoy has become more like divination now, and frankly – I don’t really want to know about the future.

The drawings shown here, done innocently as I entertained a children’s book idea a few years ago were a relief to get out of my psyche. I drew furiously – and thankfully my boss didn’t mind too much. The thoughts had to come out and go on paper. This is the compulsion of art, and what makes you an artist – not how well your skill level is. Like a TV you pick things up and send them out, you humbly become the vehicle and are quite aware you have nothing to do with the process than accept it.

Kevin is the same way. I’ve seen him become engulfed in a sculpting project, completely transported to another world. His process is different than mine, but we go to the same place. You can see it in his eyes, which are completely unaware of anything else.

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Kevin sculpting my birthday present in 2012 – a statue of Venus 🙂

I often wonder if the window sketch of mine signifies this time, where I’ve been researching herbs, gardening, essential oils and ancient spices used for medicinal cures. Although this drawing was made several months before I found the house we would eventually live in, I made the window drawing knowing this was a kitchen window. The difference is that the chair in the background of the drawing cannot fit in our kitchen that way.

Like driving to your favorite place to be, I find prophetical signposts and landmarks mean nothing until you’re right there and can recognize them. They are very little help miles before your destination because you never use them until you’re almost there. Perhaps they function literally only as a confirmation in life, not a warning.

I constantly wonder what links these visions and senses to the present? But I’ve decided that the real question seems to be HOW, not what. How does this happen? I’m convinced that if I could find out, I’m certain I would also know why.

I was deeply inspired to take an unfinished illustration of an angel, begun over 2 decades ago, and finish it to this song I fell in love with, Panis Angelicus. It seemed just like fun, but should have been more aware? Only a few days later we discovered Kevin’s scalp lesion and our war with melanoma began. Could it be that the etheric trance I was in was simply a reminder that angels are among us, and guiding us? When coincidences go beyond mathematically impossible, I’m inclined to believe so.

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Our beautiful, old home on the 4th of July last summer.

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