Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Authentic Voice

I have been fortunate enough to have lots of delicious time for just lolly gagging around the house, reading, eating, contemplating. Along with a wonderful constitutional homeopathic remedy and some amazing food prepared by Everyoneisvegan this quiet time has been exactly what I needed.

Last night enough space opened up around me that I started thinking about my art again. Three encounters got me thinking about "authentic voice", something which is both important and elusive to me in my art, at least from my vantage point. A lot of the time I feel like I miss the mark due to frustration and impatience. I aim to orient myself toward this north star of authentic voice in the coming new year. I will be looking for a felt sense of something emerging as I create, something that comes through me, but isn't this little me, something connected to a greater presence. I will know it when I meet it. Sound weird and crazy? That's okay, as long as it doesn't sound like one of those mind soaked personal artistic statements.

The first encounter (does this sound like an artist's version of "A Christmas Carol" ?(ew, cheesy, chewy unintended pun left in for your guffaws and tomato throwing pleasure) was with some words from blogger friend Leslie Avon Miller over at Textures, Shapes & Colors. I find her art fresh and original and her explorations filled with passion and light hearted energy . She covers so many artistic miles in her exploration of new (to me) artistic geography. Sometimes I wonder how she has time for it all. Passion will do that for a person, I think. But what really intrigues me is how freely she explores the artistic scales of her own voice.

My second inspiration and call to the authentic self was some writing by Nathan over at Dangerous Harvest; words carved with a sharp scalpel out of blood and bone, boiling with unanesthetized authentic voice. Deep uncauterized trenches of experience laid open for examination; truly an authentic, dangerous harvest, one that etched itself deeply into the crevices of my skin. I was reminded how much I learn when someone is courageous enough to speak their truth.

And as I rambled over the landscape of screen and printed page in my pyjamas I turned to the pages of "Branches of Light", Banyen Books' catalogue and settled on descriptions of some Mary Oliver books of poems, new and old. Again, what jumped out was the deeply authentic voice that carries her across the hills and meadows of her experience, her unique vistas unfurled with such delicious quirkiness. This is truly authentic voice.

So 2011 will find me diving, digging, trekking, climbing, waiting, watching, sniffing for signs of authentic voice. Road maps, secret decoders, notes in bottles, hidden clues all gratefully accepted on my search. Watch for me. I will be wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat and carrying a large magnifying glass. The glass will be filled to the brim with magic elixir and I promise to share a sip if I meet you on the road.


  1. Following the "north star of your authentic voice" doesn't sound crazy at all. Incubating, getting a felt sense of it, letting it emerge. Sounds delightful actually. Interestingly I too have been feeling this "call" of the authentic Voice/Self... You make it sound so playful and adventurous! Yum. Maybe we could move out of the cave for a late night rendezvous on the roof top for a little star gazing. Be sure to bring that magnifying glass and elixir with you :) Christine

  2. I am compelled to strive to develop and nurture my authentic voice. After all, what else have we got?
    Thanks for your kind words. I sent you an email. Perhaps I have an old address??

  3. MeANderi - well that call to authentic voice must be out there in the ether! yes, yes, great fun, lets have a little sip of what the glass holds, new year's eve perhaps. And what hat will you be wearing?

    Leslie - It is true, it is our precious gift. Nurturing it is our work. Some of us get a bit confused as to how to go about this job.

    I did get your email and sent one in return. Sounds like the return got lost in the digital mail box. That darn internet post office, they can be so unreliable, probably my envelope slid down behind some cyber counter space. I have resent it again. I hope they don't charge me double postage!

  4. Why my "Mystic's" hat of course :) And shall I bring the star map? - My inner child is getting excited here :)

  5. I miss those days when a new painting or image would appear on your blog frequently. It was pretty exciting. But I know the ebb and flow of it all. Glad my post was inspiring.

  6. Quiet time is always good for finding what the next step is. That lull between seems to be a re-dressing of the mind and recouping energies. Sounds like you are set for a new adventure in 2011. I look forward to seeing your creations in the coming new year.

    Some wonderful links you shared too. I love the everyoneisvegen link as I'm always looking for food inspiration.

  7. MeANderi - New Year's Eve midnight!

    Nathan - Here's to a new year of images. And as always thanks for digging deep.

    Gallery J - I think we undervalue that restorative time in our culture. Hope you try the kale chip recipe over at Everyoneisvegan, they are amazing. And I always feel that authentic voice in your work and explorations. Such a lovely quiet, considered approach. And I have loved following you from Japan to Mexico back to California.

  8. I am following that wonderful vegan blog. I'll let you know if I try any of the dishes. And thank you for the insights into thought and behaviour that you gift to me through your blog. I'm glad we started this exchange of art and words!