There is a great deal of solitude in what I do, both in the studio and the field. In my little creative vacuum, there's very little opportunity for personal interaction with other artists. That lack of creative feedback is often amplified when I'm mired in a project that seems to be draining all my energy without much sign of progress. It can be a nasty cycle of depression and self-doubt when things aren't going well.
|This year's crew of usual suspects: Cindy House, James Coe, Jim Bortz, Sue Adair, Stephen Quinn, Michael DiGiorgio, Sean Murtha, Barry Van Dusen, Lucia deLeiris|
So I was both honored and excited when renowned
New England painter, Jim Coe, invited me to attend the
"Gathering." Not really knowing what to expect, I cleared my calendar
for the proposed dates. I couldn't possibly pass up the opportunity and the
7-hour drive to the Catskills was a small price to pay. From the beginning I
knew I'd likely be the first to arrive and the last to leave.
The entire time I was there, I kept thinking back to a conversation I'd had with Paul Rhymer more than a year ago when he told me, "You've been walking in some tall grass, my friend!" There is however, danger in that tall grass. There is a rush of pure joy that comes from being included with such accomplished artists, each with their own specialties and areas of expertise. Along with the inspiration of talking to and getting advice from such a proficient group, there is a humbling sense of admiration and an almost paralyzing fear of inadequacy. It's easy to take a look at Barry's sketch books and wonder what the hell I'm doing! Tall grass indeed.
I expected to come away with a need to pause and reassess my plotted course, but seem to have instead caught a wave and good wind for my sail. I'm sure my course will shift... as it should... but the direction is "forward"... even if the destination is unkown.