Art in the Mess

Why can’t we just admit that MESSY is the truth? The only people I know who have something even close to “perfect” lives are stressed out 95% of the time, trying to maintain the illusion. That’s not a lifestyle; it’s a life sentence. Keeping up an image to control others’ perceptions.

Personally, I find REALITY more inspiring. Because I can RELATE. So let’s get real…

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This is my current art space. My son and I are currently living in an unfinished basement. With one tiny window (which is broken) in just one of the two rooms. A basement with spiders (I’m getting used to them). And a raw concrete floor that leaks from the sides when it rains.

Yes, I could whine about how I’m trapped in a dungeon. I could sit and cry in a dark corner, huddled under a blanket with the space heater pulled close.

But I turn on the lights and make art instead.

What if we could make the most of where we are at any given moment? What if we could make art out of each moment?

I’ll admit, it’s not as easy as it sounds. I’ve had my share of (and am currently experiencing) difficult circumstances in multiple realms of my life.

And when you’re in the trenches and feeling attacked from every direction and it feels like you’re desperately clawing up the muddy walls of an empty well just trying to catch a glimpse of blue sky so that you’ve got fuel to keep going, but instead you can’t get a grip and keep slipping back to the bottom…

That’s when making art is most important.

And for myself, I mean art literally - as in surrounding myself with pens and brushes and watercolors, and letting the vibrant pigments sweep me into bliss.

But it’s also metaphorical. When you can’t find the sun for the life of you, what do you turn to? The art of admiring how beautiful your children have become. The art of receiving the unconditional love from your loyal pets. The art of sitting on the earth and closing your eyes and giving yourself a few moments, even, to just BE YOU? It’s an art to stop the swirling and focus on the beauty.

I do my best to set myself up for success - by making room for art, even if the room itself is far from it.

It’s my job to CREATE it, the best I can, with what I’ve got. That’s what gets me through.