I spent a large chunk of these last few days going through my digital photography and selecting pieces to display. I got them developed yesterday and picked up frames today... spent the evening playing with various arrangements of matting... and think I've got them just as I like them (for now). I need to find mats for 11 x 14 prints... will try the art store tomorrow to see if they have more custom-sized matting.
So... aside from the sheer incredibleness of having my very own art gig... just my art... no one else in there... in a nice part of town... I'm also riding high on the whole picture. See, art is one of those things that I was always told I couldn't do. I wasn't as good as the other kids in middle school, and I wasn't encouraged to break outside that black-and-white box. I started apologizing for my attempts at art... I would beat people to the punch by telling them that even my stick figures needed help. I doubted myself, I doubted my abilities and I was embarrassed to be less than perfect. Until my senior year at Vanderbilt when I started drawing faeries. Until I looked at my pictures one day and realized I had some natural talent here. Until I picked up a paintbrush this past January and discovered I could paint.
Art is my liberation flag. It is the one thing that tapped into my true self despite relapsing into anorexia and struggling to get by in day to day life. It is the one common thread that ties together so much of my life. It is an expression of the soul in various mediums, textured by emotion. It is my catalyst into recovery and a life that I only half-lived for almost eleven years.
I came to Tennessee expecting a short-term stay... expecting to leave in the summer to pursue my doctorate. Life had other plans. Honestly? I couldn't be happier! I finished my project this evening and hung up the many pieces of photography that laid sprawled on the floor. When you have two cats, it is not safe to leave precious materials (or anything you don't want stepped on, sat upon or chewed on) on the floor. My home is now like the canvases I use to paint... it is a work in progress. Some of the holes hold finished products. Some contain half a thought. Some contain the sheer outline on an idea. But everything is hanging. Why wait until it is done to showcase the effort? Life doesn't wait for the final stroked are completed... why should I?
This peace that has come over me lately... it is grounded in all of this. I am slowly applying my artistic impulses to daily life. There is so much more to life than the slight bit I'd allowed myself to taste while trapped in my own mental muck. For the first time I can remember, I feel truly free.