Inside the cave
Shark Cove - Lana'i, Hawaii
Ink Drawing by Gillian Cornwall
4"x 6" - $50
...And my soul said, "Let there be art"
...And behold, there was art.
It was everywhere. Nature made it and I translated her beauty through my perception. My very being spoke through my hand and heart and rendered words into poetry, fiction, non-fiction, pen and ink, oil pastel, watercolour pencil drawings and three dimensional sculpture. I was moved to sing and to dance and to play an instrument. I sought out the places where the greatest of all of these pursuits were housed and I sat among friends and made crafts.
All of it - I wanted all of it. I do it because I must in order to be whole and alive.
When I was young, I had no external push to create; although, I was exceedingly fortunate in my exposure to the arts,including: consumption of the culinary arts from all over the world to ballet and symphony, popular music concerts, art galleries and education in the arts. It was clearly stated that it would not have been a course by which to achieve employment - my parents said so. I was raised to obey. Now, I sit here, without a permanent job at 54 as a result of lay off and I am still writing, drawing, singing and dancing and laughing at myself for my stint as a stand up comedian.
The point is, I likely could have made a career of it - I loved it enough and worked hard enough at it, but, no, I was told I must take on a career to support myself. Wise advise on the one hand while lacking in support of my abilities and passion on the other.
This week, my brilliant cousin pointed me in the direction of this article, The Third Self, by Mary Oliver on the Brain Pickings blog by Maria Popova - winner in the blogger category at the 7th annual Shorty Awards.
In her essay, Mary Oliver states:
When I read this, I thought to myself, "You bloody idiot, Gillian. Why did you believe anyone? Why did you not just go to school for it and do it?"
While I let my counselor help me with those questions now, I will say, indeed, I did give it power and time. Would the amount of time ever have felt like enough? I doubt it. The point is, I have improved, I have studied, I have read, I have performed. Hell, I have even sold my art and published a few bits of writing. What does success look like? There is also my blog. I am damn proud of the engagement I have with all of you over the years. There is my novel which is now in its second draft and must be handed over to someone to read at some point ...particularly, if I would like to have it published ...and I would very much like to have it published.
I create because I don't know how to not create. I would not be me if I did not create. We all create. Each of us does it in small ways daily, even if those creations never reach fruition on page or into voice - our imaginations are unstoppable - percolating and pumping - completely out of our control.
To each person who participates in the arts through reading books, going to the ballet or concerts, attending gallery openings and purchasing the works of artists of all kinds: You are essential to the equation of growth in the lives of both the artist and yourself. Creation is meant to elicit response - from boos and balks to cheers and bravas. I grow as an artist by attending the arts of others, from reading books and attending performance and shows.
I keep saying, "The point is..." and you are probably wondering, "Really, what is your bloody point?"
Soooo, the point is:
Creation is essential.
Allow yourself the beauty and pleasure of a doodle or a line of verse. Do it for you because no-one will create what you have created. Do it because it feels good. Rip it up after if you need to do so. Take a photo today on your way to get groceries or on your way home from work. Stop. Look. Listen. Smell. Touch. Feel yourself in a moment and see what comes to you.
The rarity of stopping has dulled our senses to the beauty of the heaven in which we live. For a moment, put down your phone and look around. Rest and feel. In the brilliant words of Nana Veary, "Seek to enjoy; not to possess." Time will speed as you age. Do not let your youth slip away unnoticed.
Presence is the first step in creation. The universal flow of energy, when allowed to pass through you without impediment, will lead your imagination to lands beyond your day to day world. This is how creators create. At least, it is the way in which I begin to create. Sometimes, I have no idea from where the work has had its well-spring. I look down at the page of my novel and think, "Wow - who thought of this?" The same can occur when I am in the zone with a drawing. It's magic; yet, as simple as a breath - which is also quite magical when you think about it.
Allow the magic of your very existence take you on unfathomable adventures. This is your life to create.
-Gillian Cornwall, c. October 23, 2016
North Shore of Maui and West Maui Mountains
Oil pastel and mineral oil on watercolour paper
Approx. 8"x 10" - $100
Rendered by Gillian Cornwall