Sunday, February 27, 2011

It was better than sex!

Golden Grin 10 x 14 Watercolor

There is sex, that physical act, and then there is love making.  While often playing semantics, there is a discernible difference between the two.  Making love implies an emotional connection, a certain intimacy that transcends the physical, and often has nothing to do with sexual intercourse.  Making love can be present in all kinds of relationships, in fact, as it is the uniquely human ability to connect on a spiritual plane.

Suze Orman says, quite accurately, that women are more relational than men.  A woman cannot do well with anything in her life, unless she has a relationship with it.  While Suze is talking about women and money, I think this idea is important.  How many things do you have in your life, and how many of these things do you see in terms of relationship?

For me, one of these things is my artwork.  I have never considered that I have a relationship with it, nor have I felt that having a relationship with my art is important.  I have always considered my art to be an extension of myself, the "self" within.  When I post my work online I often feel naked, as though I have exposed something that should be kept covered up and private.  It feels as though I am baring my soul for the world to see.  Perhaps that is true, but there are other forces at work here too.

If you were to ask me two weeks ago if I had a relationship with my art, I'd have thought for a moment and felt, in a vague way, that it was a relationship of sorts, but a contentious one; I do a lot of fighting and arguing, frequently feeling a lot of disgust and frustration.  If I had a human life partner and we shared the sort of angst I have had with my art, we would soon be divorced.  No one likes to live like that!

Two days after my birthday, February 20, I had a "better than sex" experience with making art.  I made love with my art.  I have never done that before.  I realized, quite suddenly, that this is more than an extension of the self.  I suddenly understood that I have to build a relationship with this activity.  I have to love it unconditionally, appreciate it, build on it, trust it, believe in it, nurture it, as I would any important relationship in my life.  Then, and only then, am going to be able to relate to it as intimately as I did last week.  It was the most singular experience of my life, quite the defining moment.  It was the most intoxicating and draining, energizing and exciting emotional experience of my life.  It was like discovering that a passionate lover lives next door and it only took 37 years to notice how attractive that person is!

The brass tacks of painting will never be the same for me.  I have a profoundly intimate relationship with something of beauty and delicate substance, if I chose to honor it with my love.  And I do.