a quick reflection on the many things art—making it, living it, engaging with it—has taught me about receiving and reciprocity
my parents came over last weekend for a (masked) porch visit to celebrate my youngest’s 9th birthday. i showed them what i’ve made for the show already, explaining that i have roughly 5–7 more paintings to go before i’ll feel like i have the visual aspect of it complete, and a solid enough group of works to choose from for the final cut.
i asked a few people i trust to read what i’ve written for the show because while i have been writing words on the internet and sharing my words publicly for 12 years, presenting them in this new format and paired with my paintings for the first time feels very vulnerable in a way i did not anticipate.
their reactions and responses have been a reminder to me that while my art is born from my own personal experiences, this work belongs to and is just as much for others as well. individual/collective, micro/macro. it also reminded me about the gifts of connection and beauty of community, which i needed. art—no matter the discipline—is always so generous in that way, you know? its gifts are infinite and consistent and given without any expectation or demand other than a request that we simply show up to receive what it has for us in that moment.
i’m nearly to the finish line but i can already feel the desire to hang back and stay just a bit longer in the enclave this body of work has carved out for me to reside in these past months. at the same time, i can feel the work urging me toward not just to the finish but also out into the new beginnings, energy, and spaces it has opened up in my life while i’ve been buried deep in the creation process. somehow, there are yet still more gifts to receive, experience, and be transformed by on the other side.
anyway, i told my parents that while there is so much i’m nervous about regarding the works for the solo, this one in particular has my deepest affections. i remember the morning it came pouring out at 5:30 a.m. last month and…well, i’ve never felt held by anything i’ve ever made before (aside from my own kids), but this painting embraces me and loves on me in a way i can’t actually articulate in words. it has tenderly stitched some wounds closed over these last weeks.