Sunday, April 29, 2012

as easy as breathing...

"d'Archangel III", 8" x 10", gouache on black paper.
Copyright Pamela Jo Ellis, 2012

I attended a conference once where one of the presenters was telling us to find the things in our lives that are as "easy as breathing" - that if we put our energies toward these things, then we would find our "bliss." It was put forth as a way to find fulfillment in your daily life and work, as well as greater financial independence. !! Well, coming up with that list was a challenge - I mean, what comes absolutely naturally?  ummmm... reading? talking with friends - laughing with my children? then I went deeper - dancing - I'm always dancing... mostly in my kitchen... and, even tho I don't do it just for fun very often, I do love to draw. It's one step removed from "breathing" because you have to first pick up utensils and substrate (paper and pencil or whatever is at hand) but it does comes easily - always has. It's as if the image just comes in through my eyes and out through my hand onto the paper - and I don't have to think about it. I relate it to MY amazement when I see a pianist (like Sue or Andrea or Terry) just open a book, look at the music, and the music just flows through her eyes to her fingers onto the keyboard and into our ears. Drawing is like that for me - it just flows. Not that it didn't take her studying key signatures - music theory - and actual practice time playing, and not that I didn't have to learn about perspective and color - value - line and practice drawing, but I never felt I wasn't getting it - that I couldn't do it. I always could. 

"d'Archangel IV", 8" x 10", gouache on black paper.
Copyright Pamela Jo Ellis, 2012
Dancing.  Drawing.  When I was in college I applied for a big grant that would have taken me to Paris and Kiev to draw dancers at the ballet companies there. I didn't get the grant but only because the Ballet companies wrote back to me and told me my presence would be too intrusive, so they wouldn't grant me permission to sit in on classes. (I think the grant committee liked my proposal though...) After all these years, the urge to combine my two interests is still running in the background. So I set up a photo shoot with one of my mature dancers, and here are my first forays into the two things combined.  It is a new direction I want to take my art; an entirely new type of imagery. (But yes, I will continue with my landscapes, as I do continue to desire to eat.) These first few are just getting me started; I actually want to experiment with more movement and less visual accuracy, however, I was satisfied with the tonality and freshness of this first set. I expect at first that the time I'm devoting to these two things that "are as easy as breathing" may actually contribute to more strife (financial, that is) if people don't respond to this new set of images, but I've always felt that if you paint what you love, people will see/feel that and respond in kind. Well, I can hope for that anyway :)