I write this as I prepare to leave on another exciting adventure facilitating a program on woman’s leadership for the World Academy for the Future of Women, in Bangladesh. I’ve not been there before and am excited about the prospect. I am excited to work with a group of courageous young women who dare to live a life fully expressed, larger than what they had ever imagined. And in doing so, I find myself living a fully expressed life, larger than I had ever imagined.
This work has led me not only to exotic lands, but into the deep recesses within myself. It has altered my perception of the world and in doing so, has altered my artistic practice. My work is taking on deeper meaning. My art has always been driven by an experience or emotion residing within myself. It focuses less on the rules, relying mostly on the expression. It is widely received due in part to its ability to touch others.
When we learn to make art, we are thrilled to make something relatable resembling the intended, familiar object or person. We spend countless hours mastering a technique or skill. As we mature in our practice, we have the opportunity to convey something more, often shadowy, generally not fully understood until the piece is complete. We learn about art making and, in the process, the making of art we learn about ourselves. What are you learning about yourself and the world you navigate through your art? What is the impact that your work has in the world? Are you allowing your artistic voice to be vulnerable –to share your dark recesses, to explore that which might make you uncomfortable? To risk being seen – or being seen in a different way? I am reading a book on leadership by Brene Brown. She writes about ‘rumbling with vulnerability’ in difficult conversations. The phrase has resonated with me and prompted me to look at not only where I rumble with vulnerability in my relationships and conversations, but in my artistic practice. This is an invitation for you to do the same.
Two prominent AAG exhibits are coming up: The Associates Body of Work and the Statewide Exhibition. Check out the details in the newsletter and on the website. While you are there, check out the many exciting opportunities February holds!
A nod of gratitude to Ivan Halvorson who will be filling in for me during February’s General Meeting. Ivan will be taking on the presidency at the end of my term in May. If you don’t know Ivan, please be sure to attend the meeting and introduce yourself to him. He is a kind and lovely man and brings a fresh energy to the position. Ivan has been a member for many years and holds the position of VP of Meeting Logistics, and hosts the weekly Wednesday evening Open Studio/Advanced Drawing class and leads the monthly Tuesday night critique group.
Have a wildly creative, expressive month. I look forward to seeing you in March.