|Blue Shadows, Golden Horizon, pastel, 5 x 5"|
I've been hiding out. Reclusive, actually. And living in solitary has made me nasty, lazy, dissatisfied and self loathing. So I was delighted when I came across something that Thomas Jefferson wrote describing what solitude had done to him. I wasn't alone. His words calmed me, then shook me up and out. Just like that, I signed up for a workshop at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Association, scouted out a class that interested me, went to lunch with a friend, and started two Pinterest Albums. I owe Thomas for the shove.
Living in a cold, blue world, without social contact, threw a wet blanket over our social life and worse, over my artistic inspiration. I cut myself back to only working in pastels on unexciting, tiny paintings just to use up the costly supplies I bought for the class I took last summer."I am convinced our own happiness requires that , we should continue to mix with the world, and to keep pace with it....I can speak from experience on the subject, From 1793 to 1797, I remained closely at home, saw none of those who came there, and at length became very sensible of the ill effect it had upon my own mind, and of its direct and irresistible tendency to render me unfit for society, and uneasy when necessarily engaged in it. I felt enough of the effect of withdrawing from the world then to see that it led to an antisocial and misanthropic state of mind, which severely punishes him who gives in to it; and it will be a lesson I never shall forget as to myself." --Thomas Jefferson. Quote taken from Jon Adams by David McCullough.
|Self Portrait, charcoal, 20 x 20"|
I wasn't totally lost. I was percolating, not vegetating. Reading non fiction was a healthy sign I hadn't sunk to the pits, but rather that something was brewing and it was urgent.
The Spring workshop I impulsively signed up and paid for one day gave me a strong clue. It's called Selling Your Art. It seems I have reached the end of painting for my own pleasure. It seems I want more than the quiet satisfaction achieved with the last brushstroke. It seems I want to fly beyond these walls.
Richard Bach is encouraging. I wonder who Jefferson read just before he rode away from Monticello after a four year time out ?
"Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly."Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
|Jefferson's haven, Monticello.|
Jefferson did a little remodeling in every place he lived, both here and abroad.
But Monticello, he tore totally apart and put it back together as grand as any
European palace he had visited.