Sometimes exciting, sometimes daunting.
This daily canvas practice metaphor-izes before my eyes each day. I don't really think of the metaphor in the moment, but the daily accumulation of actions beckon me to think outside the canvas. It's more than a creative challenge.
The metaphor of daily change eases it's way into my consciousness with each choice. Each day reveals how change subtly effects life. (Although some days, it is a bolder stroke that catches my eye, but mostly it's the subtleties that rise up with the wings of metaphor into my contemplative soul.
On day eighteen, I chose to glue envelope strips to the bottom; half blade of grass, half flames licking the edge. Open to interpretation.
Another awareness: while I practice my art in solitude, I intentionally chose to broadcast my progress to an audience. Those listeners, seekers, watchers of social media. And I welcome the interaction, for I am not alone. I prefer to work alone, but this project is part of the way I process life. How community matters to me, just as much as solitude.
But back to subtle change, and how it impacts the canvas, the artist, the audience and how it informs the experiences of life.
On the canvas it creates texture, dimension and interest. It's barely perceptible to the eye or documenting camera phone. But to the one who enjoys the pleasure of the canvas' presence on a daily basis, the small marks and choices bring unexpected joys. Today I added some blue marks on the "grass-fire" and then sealed them with glitter medium that dries clear and sparkly. I could not capture this with my phone, but later in the morning during my coffee and journal practice, a glint of light caught my eye. The blades were shimmering like the freshly fallen snow outside. Like ice crystals on blades of grass.
The subtle changes to the canvas, frankly scare me, the artist, each day. Because, I wonder if they are enough. It's funny how easy I begin to judge the process, rather than just witness the changes.
Mostly, I respond to what's on the canvas by bringing something from the surrounding environment to the day. But a subtle fear, desire or concern hovers in the back of my mind: how can I sustain a whole year of daily changes? That's when metaphor and reality combine to give me relief.
One day at a time! One change at a time. Being responsive to the change, rather than commanding it to work for me, frees me to enjoy the process and the outcome of each choice.
And learning that one decision does not have to control the whole. It can be added to or impacted by a new choice. Early on I chose to paint a blue square in the upper corner. It kept mocking me day after day. I was going to paint over the whole square with fuschia. But as I carefully cut the paint into the curve of the "S" . . . a heart presented itself. And then I decided, I would not obliterate the blue, just enhance it.
Some of the fuschia paint found its way down to other sections, adding a happy blush. And now the blue feels better, more at home where it started, now accompanied by an infusion of fuschia joy.
How does the subtleties affect the audience? Only they really know, but when I read a comment, I know that the changes on the canvas are impacting them. And so, I extrapolate a principle.
One that goes like this: any change in my life or another life does impact the other. Maybe for good, maybe for not. But either way, change is happening every moment and sometimes we are aware and sometimes we are not.
To be subtle or bold is a choice that faces me each day, and sometimes the subtler ones make me the happiest.
Here is a slideshow of some recent changes: