Isn’t that what all art is about? A connection; some spark that flies across the chasm from one to another, and back again. A fizzing, electric meeting of minds. A catalyst, if you like; something to set wheels turning, minds whirring, planets aligning.
If I can make you feel what I feel, or feel something new, or feel something – anything at all – by putting pencil to paper, or paintbrush to board, or fingers to keyboard, then that’s everything for me. That’s all I want.
I’ve heard people say (in fact, I have said it myself) that they would create art all by themselves forever, if they had to. That the action of creating in itself is so compulsive, so compelling, that no matter what anyone else thought or said or did, they would still make what they are drawn to make.
True. That’s me, too. But there is a sadness in this truth, because creating art, or writing poems or stories or any type of self expression, in a vacuum, is quite dull. It’s certainly lonely, and one often feels invisible. And surely, after all, what we’re all looking for is the connection – the understanding that what you’ve created, I LOVE. That what I’ve painted or written makes you happy, or just raises a smile, or touches you in some way you can’t even explain.
So I guess showing people into my world at last weekend’s Open Studio event really was important to me, even though it was the scariest bit, and quite stressful in some ways, and not least because I was worried someone would fall down the loft stairs and die and it would be my fault and we’d have to sell the house to pay their medical bills.
No, you see, it was just so good to connect with people.
To hear how it is my work makes them feel (and it wasn’t all sunshine and meadow blossom, and that’s OK too. You can’t force these things).
To see with my own eyes that the fact I work my socks off is so worth it.
To feel that sparking connection with other people, in my own heart, which is now full up – right to the top – and brimming over.
Thank you, all who came to have a look around or a chat or a hug or a cup of tea. Or to swop some cash for a painting, or two. Or just curiously stopping by to see what was going on.
You made my weekend, my month, and my year.
And thank you internet friends – who sometimes come and go – maybe that’s the nature of it. But thank you for the smiles anyhow, while you’re here, and farewell, if you’re passing through.
I think I’ve ravelled all the ends now, and the studio’s back to normal, though with far, far, fewer pieces of work in it! I’m going to buy some big canvases and lots of gorgeous paint, and make a new series of paintings, when I figure out what it is I want to say next. And, when I can sort it out in my mind, I’m going to build** a new website.
*And who can hope to fathom the workings of a heart?
**Which actually means emailing help desks in America. I can’t code (yet)!
All photos: Juliet McKee