What Matters Most? This is the theme of the 2020 Member’s show at the Old Schoolhouse Gallery here on Cortes Island. I am joining with Ann Mortifee to show a work of my painting and her writing. The collaborative piece is titled: “Do you have first aid?” Actually, not a bad answer to the question, what matters most?
So what matters most in art? In my view, the very act of doing it. Showing up every day, even if only for 15 minutes. Showing up to the big magic, to the exhaustion of “I still don’t have that passage right,” to the elation of “That I like.”
Like the tiny creature in the puddle. This is how the urge to make art feels to me. Doesn’t quite make sense appearing in the ordinary day of work and library books and my turn to make dinner. But there it is. And I only have to turn slightly to see.
What is having first aid in art? This may not be a particularly humble notion, but I think it is having a taproot of focus that comes to the aid of art making, by putting it first. Ahead of chores and coffee with friends and the meeting that others would like you to host. As with the lady in the car, it is a serenity of intention that might appear very wise, or could be very unaware. No matter. The views of even significant passengers cannot really change the looking to art.
This first aid in art often requires a going alone, a willingness to travel to uncomfortable places, and from time to time, an ease with the inevitability of a wrong direction.
So what did Ann write? We have this crazy project going. I have made a commitment to myself to paint images from the 47 dreams that each provided a question for the cards in the Journey Oracle divination deck, and she decided to write a poem for each painting. The crazy part is she only has the question to work with, and does not see the painting until we are both finished. Here is a taste.
Do you have first aid?
You better have!
If you wish to fly
You’re sure to fall
If you have not fallen
You have not flown
Expect the unexpected