Saturday, May 18, 2013

Staring at the Paintings on the Walls

Still no A/C.

Our air conditioner has been out for almost a week now. And if you've ever been to Texas in late May, you would know just how miserably hot it can get this time of year. We have someone coming on Monday to fix it, but until then, my engineer-husband's temporary solution has been to put a window unit in my studio. He could have put it anywhere else in the house (the heat affects him way more than it does me!), but since I'm the one who spends most of my time at home, he was kind enough to put it in "my room." Still, my legs stick to my office chair, I wear the lightest clothing I can find, I drink iced coffee instead of hot, and it's a relief to go to the grocery store and hang around the refrigerated foods section.

But there's actually been something kind of cool about the A/C quitting on us. Since the bedroom is an inferno, we decided to drag a mattress into my studio and camp out in there last night. I woke up this morning and looked up, and my paintings were everywhere, all around me, lit up beautifully by the morning light that comes in through the east-facing windows.

I laid there for quite some time looking at each painting, stacked high on the walls and easels, remembering things about each one of them from their inception to completion. I realized that, in the five years I've lived here, this space has undergone an enormous transformation. It went from big white empty walls with a tiny, cheap easel in the corner--and a young woman sitting in front of the blank canvas, her head filled with dreams--to a working studio that evolves constantly as paintings are created and sold, or created and kept and cherished on these walls.

I hardly ever take the time to ponder my achievements; I am always moving forward, never looking back. These paintings hang like quiet reminders of how far I've come, holding sweet memories of happy brush strokes, fellowship with other artists, problems resolved, and eureka moments. See that brush stroke? I remember feeling thrilled about saying something simply with that one mark. See that hand? I remember discovering that I didn't have to paint an edge around every finger to show its beauty and form. Notice that background? It wasn't a piece of fabric, it was a scarf. Then there are so many little secrets that no one will ever know but me, or me and my wonderful models. What book was she reading? What song was he playing? What was I thinking about in that exact moment when I painted this or that?

Each painting has a story and a soul of its own. They are pieces of the puzzle of my life as an artist, and each of them has a place of importance.

I am thankful that the A/C went out. It gave me a chance to meditate and step back from the craziness just for a little while, so that I could be truly grateful for where I've been and where I am going. Artist friends, I hope you will do the same. Reflect on your accomplishments, re-affirm your goals, and above all, be thankful that you get to create... this is truly a wonderful life!


1 comment:

  1. Anna, you have a wonderful attitude and it comes through your work! Beautiful post and I hope you have your AC working by now.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...