2017 (in progress)
Franz Schubert's Impromptu in E-flat Major (D. 946)
I don't have the right words yet to describe how this piece found me and how much it touches me in some way nearly every day. Sometimes I feel it was a gift directly from Schubert discovered by paying attention and following various melodies and clues in daily life. While drawing this score (above) by hand using sumi ink, a steel nib pen and a turkey feather quill (and sometimes practicing on handmade Cinquecento style paper crafted by magician friends at Magnolia Editions), I felt transported back to the 1800s. Drawing each line and note here feels like another way to 'hear' the music which I find so tender, stormy -- mostly just so beautiful -- in all its forms whether on paper or in the air when it is played.
The space before an idea arrives (Reflections on art & life)
2017 has been a bit of a year of reflection for my art practice. After producing piles of drawings and paintings in 2014-6, it has been hard for me to keep producing without wondering where this is all going.
What I have been noticing in my art practice, whether I am drawing plants in the natural world, trying to capture what I feel in music or expressing my experience of the sea and time, is that I am often drawn to the origins of an idea or feeling or experience. What did it feel like to be the first flower to bloom ~100 million years ago (or even just yesterday)? Or to be the first lines or melody of a song to emerge? Or a new day to dawn? There is something about the beginning of a thing - the prime, primordial, or primitive essence - that is about an awakening to a truth and a call to action. A beginning holds the feeling of hope, an act of audacity, with a promise of a reward in the possibilities that are created along the way.
I'm not sure what new projects are in store for me this year (and beyond) but I know I hope to hold a little more intention specifically to notice, appreciate and elevate this 'space before the idea arrives' in all I do in life.
"To navigate within this space, it is necessary to be at ease with openness and with intuition. Because the space is pre-verbal - it isn't constituted by words - we tend to underappreciate it. At this stage, it is important to hold onto hunches, embrace non-verbal feelings, and believe in felt meaning."
- Olafur Eliasson, Nothingness is not nothing at all, p14
"What becomes of the felt meaning once the right words have been found? It does not disappear, leaving its place to words, as if it was finding its accomplishment, and true existence in them. But it becomes more intense, more precise. Expression not only makes it more precise, but makes it evolve, enabling us to discover new aspects of it."
- Claire Petitmengin, Towards the source of thoughts, p74