I live not in dreams but in contemplation of a reality that is perhaps the future.
~Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926),
So many layers...in my feelings, in my thoughts, in my paintings, in my drawings and in my life right now.
I am moving through the layers, moment to moment, darting in and out, avoiding anything extraneous on this path that I am stumbling down. My choices each day are random, rarely logical, and never overtly productive, but they consistently take me to wonderful and unforeseen places.
Two months ago when I registered for the National Caricature Network Convention that took place this past week in Raleigh, North Carolina, I didn't know why it was so important for me to go, but I knew that I needed to go. Of course, on an obvious level—I am a caricature artist and its a convention for caricature artists.
It turned out to be so much more. First of all, I learned more about caricatures and drawing than I really thought I needed to learn. (insert deflated ego picture here) Also, for someone who has been a professional caricature artist for 24 years you would think I'd have known more about the whole industry than I actually did. (insert light bulb image here) The icing on the cake though, was the amazing new friendships and fantastic memories that I am now enjoyably collaging into my life along with the thrill of being part of an international caricature community (albeit one that doesn't necessarily recognize me from day to day).
For me, the convention was also as much about "stepping away" from my life here as it was about "being there". How wonderful it felt to get up from my chair, walk away and have the chance to look at my life from a distance, just like I do numerous times with my paintings and drawings. Here at home, I have 3 young children and a studio in my house. My entire creative life exists simultaneously (yet not always cohesively) among the responsibilities, the demands, and the chaos. In Raleigh, my art was all I was required to think about for a week.
So now back in Edmonton, in the snow, with a bit of the post-convention blues, I really wish it could have gone on longer. However, as I get back to the gigs and the drawing board, I am relieved to see that my eye is sharper, my drawing is better and undoubtedly my life is richer. Just like a beautiful translucent glaze, my time at the convention has added a much needed layer to my career and brought some of my struggling creative elements together.
I really can't wait till next year...