IF YOU CAN APPRECIATE THE LITTLE THINGS...LIFE IS A BREEZE
THERE IS A SONG BY ALANIS MORRISETTE...I'd say may 20% of my stories start with this phrase :) I love her work. ALL OF IT.
So anywhoo...Alanis Morisette has this great song...it's called Underneath.
I think it is the first time I got thinking about how if I wanted to change the world...save the earth, save the animals, love and value people of all ages, abilities, genders, races, economic status (all groups of diversity) then the best way to do these things is by doing them myself.
You see my work is very tiny...well that is at least how it started. Very tiny little paintings, made on a grid of 54 (it used to be 42, but I found smaller tape, allowing me to fit more paintings on a page...now that was a big day). So I would make these paintings...by the hundreds and now thousands. I would paint for hours and days and weeks and years and I had NO IDEA AT ALL WHAT I WAS DOING. I just really really love how painting makes me feel. In the begining it was the only real time I felt like myself.
So I pursued it...wherever and whenever I could. I created epic projects. I created a painting a day for a year in 2005. In November 2009 I created four large oil paintings honoring my early paintings called "Gratitude." The latest of my journeys has been creating 3,780 unique images in a project called "The Free Time Project" where in my free time I played a simple game, set some goals, honored an idea and let it rip. Now starting in 2014 to present I am re-painting the images I created in 2012 by clumping them together in groups of seven, ( each set contains 7 images, one from each color-red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) As I create the pieces for the second time I am relearning about the meanings of each piece and writing about them. It has been a fascinating journey.
What the heck does all of this have to do with MICRO AND MACRO? Well each one of the projects was a lot of work. They took a lot of time. They took focus.
I did commit to creating...everyday or most days. That was the commitment that changed the game for me. EVERYDAY. Not some days, or a few days or maybe...but EVERYDAY. So the micromovement may be sooooo tiny. But as long as I did something...I knew I was at peace with my bigger "life" (as in when I'm dead).
As I make each little baby painting inside it is a meaning 39 years (or more if you believe in that) in the making, a life, a soul on a tiny piece of paper. Every piece is a little world. As they are created they build a bigger picture and will create a whole story...that I do not even know the ending of.
It is the micro choices, our everyday actions that make up our future...but I think these beautiful opportunities are fluid and fun and full of joy and the richness of life. My friend Lani and I were chatting the other day about how great ridged structure is and how it's awesome to drink spinich and kale for breakfast (which I do almost everyday) AND it is also important to LIVE.
So I bow to the idea that all moments are important, and that some are more impactful than others. I trust that love in all its forms can and will move mountains. That I will keep slowly living my micro life in a way that means I am loving my journey. BECAUSE I REALLY DO. I am mostly happy, and if I'm not "happy" I'm grateful for any mood I'm in...even my pissed off angry ones. I'd dare to say especially grateful for those because it means I'm growing, I'm aware that something needs to change. And I can control my actions, I can control my choices about how I feel and react to my own moods.
I have been taping pads of paper for "Set #4" of the 2014 re-paint of the "Free Time Project from 2012" It noramlly takes me @ 30 min per pad, and I tape out seven per set. That's a few hours. I was watching myself so enjoy this process. It's so precise and clean. I listen to music or podcasts or watch ted talks or sometimes documentary films while I do this step. It's lovely. I used to hate taping up these pads...because the taping was the only the "prep" for the real work. But after taping 72 pads from the 2012 project and now I have made 28 going back down in 2014 and 100's of pads from all previous years (lets say @ 100 hours of taping!), I am really honoring the rythym of the work. I finished "Set #3" on September 22. I'm starting "Set #4" on October 22nd. I THINK THATS AWESOME! Exactly 4 weeks...exactly. I'm updating this as it took another year (all of 2015) to create set 5...and as I sit here today (March 21, 2016) I just picked set #6.
I Picked out "Set 4" on October 7th...I started taping Monday night, October 20th. So for 13 days (almost 2 weeks) I hesitated...I resisted starting. I think most people would look at me from the outside and they would say that I'm "always making art" but you see...I'm not. I waited FOUR WEEKS to start painting again. That is a long time if you ask me. Now this is the first time that I have really looked (with dates and times) at my habits around this cycle and rythm in my work. SO now that I am aware...I'm making a new rule. Tape ALL OF MY PADS so that I have the next paintings started...because that downtime is just sweet resistance playing with me. And I can see it now. So I can make a new micro choice...I can't wait to see what this does to the macro level results?
You see I need to paint. Going 4 weeks is awful for my brain. If painting is my highest form of mediation and I know I need to meditate to be healthy and happy and the best I can be for service to my world (Family, Job, Friends, Community and SELF) then I owe it to all of these parts to paint daily. SCREW YOU FOUR WEEKS OFF...(Update 2016...so much time between sets, almost 4 months).
You see...I want to go pro with this art thing...
I paint like I'm training for the olympics, I commit like my life depends on it. If that makes me crazy...well I guess I'm ok with it.
I thank you for reading this far if you are still with me...I know this is rambly, so I'm all about questions that can fill in parts to bring this concept together. If you feel safe enough to share in the comments, please do. I think it is super helpful for others to see comentary. If you would like me to know something privately you can email me, my contact info is all over this site :).
Obviously this is just a sketch of an idea...but I look forward to it taking shape!
With love and inspiration-