There are eight new drawings on the gallery walls as of this past Saturday. Big drawings. Thirty inches high and twenty-two inches wide each. My favourite size.
I don’t do well with small drawings. I love seeing other people’s small drawings or paintings or sculptures or prints. They are lovely, perfect jewels. I covet them.
I know, however, that small does not work for me. When I try to work small, I end up feeling frustrated. I can’t get enough of my idea onto that small piece of paper. My marks and colours feel cramped, like I had to bend and break them so they fit.
I was this way all through art school. When the assignment called for small format, I would do many, then butt them together so they could be big. Small felt like whispering to me. I was thirty-eight years old. I had waited twenty years to go to art school and become Artist. There was no way I was going to whisper. And I didn’t. My colours and marks and ideas yelled ‘I am here. Notice me.’
Mostly what happened is that I noticed myself. Noticed what I loved and did not love in my artwork and creating. Noticed who I was and was not as Cat the Artist. Noticed how what was not authentically me fell away and was left behind for someone else to play with.
I learned I liked to create sideways. I would look an art assignment in the face. But then I’d begin turning it around and upside down and inside out. I would find an interesting side door into the work, and that’s where I would begin. My own point of view. My sideways creation.
I still create this way. It is how I see the world.
This past week and a half, I have discovered I am another kind of creator as well. I am an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink creator. I am using everything in the body of work I am creating this month. The Joy Diary is pulling things out of me I did not know I could do. I have discovered a way of marrying word and image that works for me. I have discovered how to mix chaos and order. I am matching up opposites and I like what is happening. This is double FUN, this chaotic order, this ordered chaos!
I am realizing here is the reason I have always loved comic books and graphic novels, have always loved Dr. Seuss books. They tell stories on several levels and in several ways, all at once. They are imagination and creation gone wild, pushed to the point of delight for both the creator and the reader. They are sideways creations that allow in everything and the kitchen sink.
I am so glad I am a sideways-creating, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink Artist and Writer. This, absolutely and perfectly, gives me joy.
The Joy Diary interactive art show is happening at the Station House Gallery, #1 Mackenzie Avenue North, Williams Lake, BC. The show runs to November 26th. Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. I am drawing in the gallery studio through to November 24th. Come and join me! https://www.facebook.com/stationhousegallery/