|The Way 20x21" oil on panel ©2018 Janice Mason Steeves|
"and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do––
determined to save
the only life you could save." The Journey by Mary Oliver
It doesn't matter how old you are if you have passion for life.
That passion can carry us a long way. And while recognition is important in the way of sales, or exhibitions, most older artists don't so much need the money, except to take workshops, buy art supplies and travel. Many are retired and have a pension. There's a freedom that's been earned.
Lunch hour conversations during my workshops are deep and rich. In one especially intense lunchtime conversation, a woman cried as she talked about her daughter who was born with a serious handicap. She mentioned that after 30 years of constant caring, she finally had time for herself and her art as her daughter was now in a care facility. She was so open, trusting and vulnerable that the rest of the group shared their life stories with the same depth. Two shared that their sons had been suicidal, another talked about how she had been scarred by being adopted into an abusive family.
These are the stories that we bring to our work as we come as mature artists. This is the depth we bring.
"I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.........." I will not die an unlived life––Dawna Markova
It's important to acknowledge the wealth of experience we bring to our art and how important it is to remain vulnerable and open, to really show ourselves. This is not the time to hold back.
"I don't know exactly what a prayer is,
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?" The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
|The Way 2 16x24" Oil on panel ©2018 Janice Mason Steeves|