The Destination Is The Journey

Oct 3, 2018

I recently made a trip to New York City with my husband to celebrate our anniversary. We usually go somewhere we can hike for days and days but thought this would be an exciting change. We were incredibly thrilled about this idea and were greeted at the airport with a sparkly string of shops, bars and restaurants that matched my vision of our time in New York City. But my fantasy stopped right there as we left the airport. 

Don’t get me wrong, we had an amazing time. It was a tremendously rewarding trip. We experienced fantastic food, wonderful places, incredible architecture, stunning art and met a couple very special and memorable people. More about that in my next blog post!

Home for 5 days now, I’ve had plenty of time to reminisce and think back over our trip as I battle a “New York Special Edition of Cold, Bronchitis & Laryngitis". Oh yay! I think it has meant I must slow down now that I’m home, … hold…  hold… before I launch again into the studio. Not much can usually hold me down. But this definitely has!

That trip to New York City had lots of bits & bobs I don’t want to tell. Because I want you to know I love my life and the bad stuff hasn’t ruined things, so why bother share? Well ,…because nothing is ever perfect or goes as imagined or planned. That’s just life. It’s the way we deal with the bumpy stuff between the brag-bits that really counts. 

First off, the bumpy bits need to be acknowledged.  Yup, the stuff that’s frustrating needs to be fessed-up-to before anything new can happen. Hmmmmm, is this sounding familiar to my artist friends?… those things in a painting that aren’t working,… we keep going, hoping it’ll change soon. Ahhh, nope. Needs to be seen first. Honest feedback to Self. “Damn! I’m not liking this at all. What can I do differently to make way for something new?”

In hindsight, discovering NYC was a bit like creating a painting. “Oh wow! Let’s try this - looks amazing! Oh, geez, not what I was expecting. Let’s give it a little more time. Nope. Not loving it at all.” “How about this! Yes! Fabulous - yum.” Happy dance. 

This type of traverse through the city was a common theme that ran thru our trip. Delightful surprises. Gradual let downs. Hair raising experiences. Superseded expectations. Hum drum moments. Rewarding challenges. Disappointing turn offs. Massive heart-filling moments. But in the end, such a tremendous experience for both of us. And we learned so much.

Isn’t that a lot like my journey working as an abstract artist? I have ideas of grandeur, creating a smashing piece. But it doesn’t just happen. I don’t just show up with a few fabulous ideas and voila. There it is. Ready for me to bask in the beauty. No, there’s a journey to take, an adventure to have, some decisions to make, realizations to occur, and a good heap of acceptance in between. Incidentally, this painting pictured above, The Destination is the Journey reflects this very thing I’m talking about. And, while I was in New York City, perusing the Gallery District, I saw an art show title printed on the Gallery window called “The Destination is the Journey!” What? And I thought I was being so unique! We both did! This painting had so much promise, exploration, and ideas pumped into it. I loved it right from the beginning. Knew it’s name already. But as I carried on with the creative journey of this painting, I found myself, “not loving’ it”. Dis-satisfied. Wondering, why I wasn’t finding in it what I thought would be there. 

Hold. Stop. Oh, what’s there?… Frustration. Things not working. What can I do differently that would make room for something new? I “turned a hard right”, the action I take on a painting when things are not going in a way that pleases me, I do something drastically different. Shake things up a bit. Could be anything, just something new. Plus a fresh attitude. Then this painting emerged. That’s what I love so much about being an abstract artist. It’s the journey. That whole swooping, bumpy, lively, experience of creating. Being in an unknown place and going for good. Going for special. Ending up with great! (hopefully).

If you can relate to this experience in art, in something else or in life in general, I invite you to share in the comments below. Love to hear from you. Thanks so much.

PJC Studio Notes: