While I don't usually know what I'm going to write about until I sit down to write, I usually have a concept, an idea, a theme. But this week, it's just not there, so I've decided to just jot down a few free flowing thoughts.
Home is a place, a state of mind, and a soul destination where, hopefully, your breath rises and falls and sighs. I know my physical home is my comfort zone. My studio is my sacred space. But I'm learning that my body is my home, too. While I take care of my house, work in my studio and feed and exercise my body, I have for years, taken my body for granted.
I've had a few wake up calls along the way to remind me to take better care of the body in which I reside. But I admit to seeing my body as a vehicle I use to get where I want to go instead of a place where I can truly live.
I wonder what it would feel like to stop driving my body and sit inside it instead.
As one of my children's very young friends said, "You're always making something over here. Why is that?" Very good question for which I had no answer. I don't even remember what I was making then that caused her to ask the question.
I do know, I like to make things. My earliest memories are of making an entire town out of mud and sticks in my backyard. Grabbing my brother's pencils and writing before I knew how to write a word. And using my mother's red lipstick to draw on the dining room wall.
I still like to make things and write things. Does that make me an artist? A writer? I don't know. And I wonder, does it really matter? Do I need the title as some form of validation? Or does society need to classify what I do and why.
All I know is in the end, the little girl's words are true: I am always making something over here.
Creative freedom is on my mind this week. As an artist many would think that I have all the creative freedom in the world but I've learned that freedom has a price. Making art and selling it means smacking up against juries, art galleries and consumers who want specific colors, shapes, and types of work.
I didn't realize that working in clay would put me in a creative box: potter vs artist. I saw them as the same, but they're not. Potters specialize in producing large bodies of identical, functional pieces. Ceramic artists usually produce work that is sculptural, figurative, which may or may not be functional.
I like to make both. I love making and using my vases and mugs as much as I love making masks. But over the last few years, I've been told by other artists, "Oh, I gave up producing functional work because I just couldn't compete with the potters." By a gallery, "We only want your functional work, in certain colors."
It's a bit mind boggling to open myself up to creating both functional and sculptural work in an effort to offer more to the world only to have people putting labels on my creative freedom.