Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Black Cloud

It’s funny how life sometimes throws speed bumps into a seemingly smooth ride. I’ll be cruising along feeling pretty good about the direction of my work… then something throws me into a tailspin. For some reason, it seems to take longer for me to recover than “normal” people. It’s like a storm cloud rumbling in the back of my mind. Some days the cloud sits on top of me like an anvil and I struggle to accomplish anything. Other days it’s more distant and less ominous. But that black cloud is always there threatening to unleash a storm that might wash me away.
It’s been almost impossible for me to paint the last few days. I’ll dob a few blobs of paint on one of my current projects, but find myself sitting there staring at the panel while the paint dries on my brush. So I busy myself doing mindless chores around the house (cutting the grass, vacuuming dog hair, washing the truck) trying to work my way out of this funk. An accomplishment of even the smallest task seems to help. Just doing the dishes makes me feel a little better.

I don’t buy into the whole “tortured artist” thing, though a gimmick like that would probably score some points with some of the bigger galleries (don’t get me started on that!). I don’t think you’ll see me dressed in rags and skulking around quoting ominous clichés from some Goth handbook anytime soon. I know people who do weird stuff like that. They think it makes them interesting, but it just makes them weird! I know my mind doesn’t work like everyone else’s. And that’s okay. I also know this will pass.
The answer for me is usually somewhere in my work… either painting or drawing… or perhaps an extended road trip to shoot some reference material… or a phone call from an artist friend (sometimes writing about it helps too!). It’s out there and I just have to keep working toward it… one foot in front of the other.
So the black cloud will pass… hopefully sooner than later… and life will get back to normal. The cloud will come around again. It always does. But it never keeps me down forever… and Otis the Wonder Dog is always here to help me through the tough parts 

My best bud :)


Kathy Foley said...

Jim, "road trip" our way . . . . lots to paint and a great/new exhibition, too: NASA-ART: 50 Years of Exploration. We can suggest all sorts of things to lift your spirits and we're fun (smile). Cheer up, Kathy

Jim Bortz said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts and concern, Kathy. Things are much better since I wrote this post. Four days of fly fishing eastern mountain trout streams seems to have helped evened me out.