Sunday, September 10, 2017

Out in the Wilderness

A 12x16 plein air sketch from Apalachicola ©Theresa Grillo Laird

How does it happen that you reach out and the universe answers in multiples?

I've been in a world of places literally and figuratively, for the past 4 months. In May I attended a 4 day event of demos, lectures and painting at Plein Air South in Apalachicola. With this year's roster of talent, it was well worth the time and expense. July gave me a Best of Show award at  the Outdoor Magic exhibition in Sandestin's Foster Gallery. The next stop will be the Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibit coming in November in St Simons Island. And though my private art lessons schedule has been filling up, there's still room for a couple more students. It's been an active time, but in my own mind, I've been out in the desert. Not a desert of bleak desolation, but a place where the air is clear, the lines are simple and it's possible to see into great distances.

This journey into the wilderness all started a few months back, when the impetus to find meditation's place in my life became too strong to ignore any longer. Traveling a road of inner discovery has led to the question of what this gift of art is, that I had nothing to do with acquiring, and where I really want to go with it. I keep coming back to the same point, that the most compelling direction has always been and still is, to push the experience of searching to the limits. In other words to confidently travel the long and often surprising path that ultimately brings your work closer to a more fully realized expression of your unique gift.

An artist I met in Apalachicola who has successfully  traveled the route, advised me that every artist needs to choose between the art path of painting for the tastes of the day and with the aim of sales and recognition, or painting for themselves and for what fulfills their personal vision. He added that they are not the same path.  

I've been enjoying this place of quiet, reflection and exploration. If I remain somewhat absent from this space and from social media in general, you'll know where I am. 

How about you? I'd love to hear about your journeys of discovery.  

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