Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Monday, November 03, 2014

When creatives go to the fog

When I look back at many of my paintings in early days here in Oregon, my work was always covered in a luminous cloud, a covering of water droplets suspended in the atmosphere. How could I not see fog as a new muse, with its quiet beauty making my pastures, trees and sky meld into one beautiful blankets of payne's gray.

Today, I was thinking of another meaning of fog:
"...something that obscures and confuses a situation or someone's thought processes".

I feel like I am in a bit of that right now-with my career. And to all the artists and writer's out there, let's raise our glasses to being in a fog. I think it is here to help, not hinder.

I decided to visualize a linear line with each calender year on it, there would be a bold red dot at 1997. That is where I set forth like a brave and excited pioneer into the unknown world of illustration and freelancing. I was 39. Along this linear line there were explanation points, black dots, and dotted lines going downward and back up again. At 2002 there would be a big square in bright colors-the time I left Minneapolis for Oregon, married, and moved again to the farm. My illustration career was dipping, my medium was changing and I began writing, and painting. Things were evolving, my identity was shifting. I was still an artist, but was carving different zones for myself-sometimes without realizing it. I wrote some books along the way and the animals became a huge part of my soul and therefore my persona and identity as a creative person. So now as we land on 2014 on the linear line, there is a little cloud of fog.

I think the fog is here to help, not hinder. The fog is giving me a bit of a rest, to recharge, reexamine, shuffle the mediums and see what sticks. The fog creates a boundary from the public platform that demands so much for so little.

"What should I focus on today?" I ask myself. I really want to do another book, and would like to see a relationship with a publisher-even though my two self published books have paid off and I am glad I did it that way for those two books at that particular time. I just believe in my writing and books and would like to see a wider audience for them. I want to create clay creatures that will tell story three dimensionally. I'd still like to do a children's book or two. And I've started trying to get on paper an idea I've had for years...for a novel.

TAKE NOTE: This is not creative block. This is standing at a place, a passage in your life and career and knowing it is changing and you aren't sure where, how or when it will appear as settling into the new form.

I know there are other working creatives who have been honing their careers for as long or longer than me and I know they too can be covered in fog sometimes. I'm always inspired by other artist/writer's careers and to see how they expanded as they enter their sixties and move into their seventies, eighties and nineties.