A couple productive days and another really good movie night. Last night was ‘God’s Own Country’. I’m pretty sure I haven’t heard of it before last night, which seems to be fitting in with the theme of the week (which is all about staying open to new things).
I’ve been trying to keep my head down and focus on actually getting some cards done the past couple days. I brought so much stuff to work on, but mostly I’m in danger of getting in the trap of my own distraction. Last night, I put away everything I am NOT working on. It helps with the focus. By process of elimination I believe it’s working.
Today I drove into Ashford for gas and to check out the Ashford Pottery Shop. For a short while on that drive in I forgot where I was. Forgot I was in Mineral. I rounded a turn and saw the top of Mount Rainier (in her signature white) against the blue sky and my heart leapt. I love so much that it still manages to leave me happily unsteady. Every. Single. Time.
I had ventured into the pottery shop (briefly) on Monday but knew I had to make a return trip to view the collection upstairs. Some really awesome art up there ! I spent about an hour but I feel like I could spend a day. The owner offered that I could do just that. I may just take him up on it.
There is local (to Ashford) art represented as well as many Pacific Northwest artists. I think two stood out: Mary Randlett and William Cumming. Mary Randlett for her photography (and especially her portraits). Such intimacy in her subjects. I almost bought her book so I could study those faces some more.
And William Cumming fascinated me for his hardcore Stalinism, his use of body language in his paintings and the fact that he was married seven times. Seven ! It’s a very worthwhile stop off of the highway. An unassuming place that explodes with culture.
If there is one thing for me to learn during my time here, it is that comparing myself to other people (or artists) is a fool’s errand. Is that just for this time in Mineral ? Nope. It’s definitely a life lesson staring me down in this short time frame. Trying to find my identity as an artist is a process. I’ve kicked myself for not doing more (and more meaningful) work, but if I look at it realistically, I see that what I AM doing is enough. 15 months until I can ditch the postal job and move gently into the rest of my life … (So yes, enough, and in the greater scheme of things … unique.)
I see lots of amazing art (cards and other things) but I don’t see anything like mine. That’s what Raymond Carver might call “a small good thing”. I love that. And more importantly, I get it.
Tonight, it seems, we (my schoolmates and I) are heading out after dark for some stargazing (and maybe a meteor shower) at the local cemetery. Kelly wrote me earlier and said “if that doesn’t scream vacation I don’t know what does”.
I’ll report back on stars, spirits and showers.