Trust and Reach … Repeat

What’s next? What’s possible? Where is the growing edge? How can I play there?

These are the questions that motivate me and make me want to grow and that fuel my creativity. This is not the path that all artists take but it seems to be mine.

The spark for this painting came from committing to a show in October that will feature the work of artist members of Verity, a women’s club/haven/community in Toronto. Since each participant will have 3 pieces, this became an opportunity to try a new direction or a least a new medium.

That meant … cement.

Cement meant Andrew Crane.

I know Andrew because I follow him on Facebook and have been continually inspired and intrigued by his work.

Thus began a cycle of trusting and reaching.

Trust – if Andrew could do cement I could do cement.

Reach – if a Google search for “how to” use cement on canvas turned up Andrew Crane as the only resource, I could dare to ask him for advice.

The reward – an encouraging response from Andrew with complete detailed steps.

Trust – that I could find the equivalent of the materials that Andrew was using in the UK in cottage country Ontario.

Trust – that I could find my way not only with the material, but with what I wanted to say – surely I needed something new and significant to say.

After several rounds of practice on recycled boards and old canvas, I had a sense of cement but was at a loss for what I wanted to express.

Reach – this was a combination of letting things come to me and exploring out in the world so that there were points of contact for subject matter to arise.

Trust – the thing was that I trusted that the attraction to the immediate and very raw aspect of cement was bigger than my not knowing what to do with it – just yet.

Reach can be described in this context as trusting the process – Was it relevant that I was very shocked and saddened by the untimely death of the leader of the NDP, Jack Layton – right when I was seeking meaningful expression? On Facebook I followed the postings of the chalk homage at City Hall, the outpouring of genuine affection from across Canada from people of all ages, creeds and political affiliations. I wept through the televised funeral.

BINGO – I needed to to harness my own raw emotion and that of the people I was responding to on Facebook and raw cement provided the perfect medium.

Even when I realized that I had mistakenly quote Shawn Atleo as saying “from sea to sea to sea” during the blessing at the service for Jack, I trusted that I could redo the background in order to write ” from coast, to coast to coast. This trust comes from hours and hours of applying paint. If I messed up I know that I can keep going and eventually turn the corner back to something I like.

I am content with what I have done – I trust it to be recognized or not and it doesn’t matter. It feels good that I am not concerned with the opinions of others – at the moment. They may not dig cement on their walls and that’s OK. I get it and have an inner chuckle at the multiple layers and hidden meanings at play in my mind.

Pure cosmic fun!!! That is a reward worth appreciating.

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