What a year it has been! I will limit my comments here to art of course, but it has been eventful across the board.
It started of with my work shifting from Watercolours to Acrylics and then on to Oils. As much as I love watercolours and as comfortable as I am with them (I have been painting in watercolours for more years than I care to share here), they were starting to feel limiting and with the kids growing, and a move to a new house where I had a cell space to call a studio, I felt I was ready to try something new.
At first, Acrylics seemed a natural step in the opaque media direction. It is water based and it seemed at first easy to handle. After months of struggling with the medium to make it act “like Oils”, I finally raised the white flag and moved on to Oils. Acrylics are beautiful don’t get me wrong, but each medium has its character and one should not assume that any medium can replace another. It took me a few months to control the Oil paints, and I am by no means a master at it yet, but I am getting there and I can finally say that I have found my voice in oil paint recently. I have not given up on Acrylics though. I will continue to use them in a different direction that I hope to start showing here soon. As to Watercolours, there is no way I can abandon them of course. I can still remember my first watercolour box at age 6 or 7. It was a metal box with many pans of magnificent colours. It had a goofy cartoon design on the front, but it was a very important thing for me. I spent many hours painting with it. I will always feel at home with my Aquarelles, but I love my Oils and Acrylics as well.
So next year, I will work with every medium I can get my hands on. Oil pastels, (not pastels because they affect my asthma), charcoal, coloured pencils, conte, pen and ink, the lowly HB pencil; you name it, I will hope to use it. I may meander along the way a bit longer while doing that. I will not be on a super (insert a medium here) highway to success, but that’s OK. There is a poem that I have carried with me for over 30 years now. I like to think I am living by its words. I will share it with you here and wish you a magnificent 2010.
Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)
As you set out on the way to Ithaca
Hope that the road is a long one,
Filled with adventures, filled with understanding.
The Laestrygonians and the Cyclopes,
Poseidon in his anger: do not fear them,
You’ll never come across them on your way
As long as your mind stays aloft, and a choice
Emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Laestrygonians and the Cyclopes,
Savage Poseidon; you’ll not encounter them
Unless you carry them within your soul,
Unless your soul sets them up before you.
Hope that the road is a long one.
Many may the summer mornings be
When—with what pleasure, with what joy—
You first put in to harbours new to your eyes;
May you stop at Phoenician trading posts
And there acquire fine goods:
Mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
And heady perfumes of every kind:
As many heady perfumes as you can.
To many Egyptian cities may you go
So you may learn, and go on learning, from their sages.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind;
To reach her is your destiny.
But do not rush your journey in the least.
Better that it last for many years;
That you drop anchor at the island an old man,
Rich with all you’ve gotten on the way,
Not expecting Ithaca to make you rich.
Ithaca gave to you the beautiful journey;
Without her you’d not have set upon the road.
But she has nothing left to give you any more.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca did not deceive you.
As wise as you’ll have become, with so much experience,
You’ll have understood, by then, what these Ithacas mean.