Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Inspired today

I spent the afternoon leading a workshop on writing a better artist's statement for a group of women in a small town near Portland. They were all painters, though with very diverse styles. They work out of an old storefront that has been converted into a dozen studios and some common spaces plus a gallery and a used bookstore.

We worked through a series of exercises designed to give them words and phrases to use in writing about themselves as artists and writing about their work. What really moved me were their reasons (I asked for 10) about why they paint. To a woman, painting and creating gave them joy, gave them meaning, was aligned with their spiritual beliefs, and for four of them, it helped them relate more closely to nature.

I've been thinking about ways to satisfy the restlessness, the emptiness I feel at times without food. I didn't ask any of these women about their relationships with food or other substances, for that matter, but I wanted a lot more of their enthusiasm and connection to art and whatever Higher Power they connect with. I also envied the connection they have with each other (we're like family, one woman said). I have that with writing friends, for which I'm very grateful, and I'd like to have it with painters too.

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