This morning I wake at 3:51am wanting to paint.
There was this image that came to me yesterday. A golden door opening. Light beaming out from within, as the door began to swing open.
I light incense and brew some coffee in the wee morning quiet, as a Pete Townsend song plays in my head.
“Let my love open the door…let my love open the door…let my love open the door…to your heart.”
Man, sometimes I’m astounded how much my life’s soundtrack is right on cue.
Though sourced in a feeling, it’s a conceptual piece I’m wanting to convey. A door opening to the heart. And even though, just yesterday, I told someone, “everyone is an artist in their own way, it just may be that sometime in their life someone told them that they weren’t and they believed them”, I’m not feeling skilled enough to get the image in my mind down on paper.
Someone along the way once told me, “you can’t really draw people” – and I believed them.
So when a friend gifted me a sketch pad she’d picked up at a garage sale, I thought it was a sign when a few pages featured the work of someone that really could draw people. The model and the artist will forever remain a mystery, but they left me with inspiration.
This morning, I open the sketch book and try to outline the figure of a woman. Just her shoulders and collarbones, the sternum where her heart would be. But shadowing and shaping present challenges. So I focus on the making of the door.
An hour of my writing time later, I’m left with only a hint of the golden door that I’d imagined actually captured on the page. The woman’s body, so much not what I was wanting, that I simply cut the door out, now making the piece seem more like a pre-school art project.
Oh, my editorial mind!
I flip back to the mystery artist’s rendering of the perfect human shape. The man’s arms outstretched. This is the ideal canvas upon which my golden door could rest. I ponder how I could superimpose my door on his chest. The door’s too big. Maybe I should leave him alone.
Maybe I should leave it all alone and simply find some way to see meaning in this exercise. Admit I moved into less familiar waters this morning and came up a bit tousled and wet.
But if you know the Archives, then you know that’s where my passion lies: it’s all in the process. The words, the photo, the painting, the sketch, the song…they’re all byproducts along the path of expression. Sometimes it’s an incredible result. Sometimes it’s not so “beautiful.” But the process lives. We follow the thread.
And the doubting mind that limits, the voices that taunt us to stop – we acknowledge them, ‘thank you very much for your input’ and move on anyway.
So in that vein, I will post my golden door cut-out in all of its divine imperfection. Nothing of what my mind’s eye saw. But proof-postive in my dedication to keep opening that door.
Love it all. Life is an artist’s work in progress. May we each continue on the path of creating our unique masterpiece.