I haven't been much for blogging this year, as busy as we've been with both the unexpected and the planned. However, it occurs to me that I did cap the end of 2015 off with a tribute to both the year in passing, and the one to come. I'd like to end this year in much the same way.
In 2016, we continued the Collodion Circus Project---with 2 more shoots---wrapping up this Fall. We'll continue to add some documentary-style material to the project until the art show/premier in the Spring of 2017. The project evolved into much more than any of its parts, and took on a little bit of magic, as well as a mind of its own. We look forward to retelling the story, and revealing the 'big-little picture that could' alongside the art and features that the artists involved inspired.
The passing year was packed full of lessons for me personally, some more pleasant than others. The Collodion Circus Project had to be pieced together over the span of over a year, due to the challenge of multiple schedules and unexpected events, and I never expected it to be the education it turned out to be. It was the most incredible, authentic, artistic experience I've ever had, and I feel so blessed to have been able to meet and work with every artist involved. It was a crash course in artistic endeavors as well, and it left me busting at the seams with inspiration.
In terms of the harder lessons, I started 2015 off by breaking my foot in multiple places, and spent a good deal of the year recovering following poor medical care. The accident changed many a well-laid plan for the year, including my anticipated return to Guitar Doors, and Nursing school.
My down-luck may have been a blessing in disguise, perhaps I'll never know the full extent of what fate had in store, but I feel grateful for the space that was made in the wake of my misfortune. I returned to Reiki, learned a little more about happiness and healing, and avoided continuing on a path in the wrong direction. Over the past year, rather than embarking upon more of the same, I cleared a vast space for art, and laid a foundation for a more fruitful practice, upon which I plan to build in the year to come.
I was blessed with some unexpected lessons about what it means to be an artist. I learned how to be vulnerable, how to ask for help, and how to expand my, once tiny, circle of trust. Perhaps I shouldn't have been so surprised at the reactions of perfect strangers to what was once a wild pipe dream---and the way that dream, once invited, waltzed into reality like the ghost of Fred Astaire.
As an artist, I've come to accept that pipe dreams are the blueprint from which we build our wares. It can be terrifying and exhilarating to say yes to your ideas, and so many people live their lives walking a wire, and denying the things they would do if only they were unafraid. Art wakes the artist and the voyeur from slumber, and calls us to gentle actions--to change. The shapes we make in the concrete world of our daily lives become a little less obtuse, less restrained, more free and unencumbered. Art inspires freedom of spirit and mind, and it is priceless. In 2016, I finally accepted my duty and calling as an artist. And I hope that you do.
I have hope. The passing year has proved to those of more ambient thinking that art is more precious than ever, that art is not only esthetic but necessary. Our pipe dreams could ease the ebb of the future, and buffer the madness of humanity before the last bubbles of a boil simmer into another plateau.
As for projects, I am embarking on a new one, something that I may never have had the courage to do had it not been for the lessons of 2016. And I hope that you do as well.