This is a painting from the past. (click to make larger)
That is my daughter on the right.
She is now approaching her senior year in college.
Back at the time of this painting she had no idea she would end up studying art in college,
Or that she'd intern in NYC with a dynamic group of artists.
Now the trick is to make sure that she doesn't give up on life too early, as the woman on the left is in danger of doing.
The other day a man told me he felt the end of the productive part of his life was coming soon.
He is in his mid 50s.
My parents learned to down hill ski in their mid 50s, never having put on skis before in their lives.
A friend learned to play tennis in her 60s.
Another friend wrote two books after age 60 and another has had a successful painting career after 60.
My mom-in-law helped start the Monterey County Hospice at the age of 56, and worked in amazing leadership for over 25 years.
And then there is Bill the gardener. He lives unlike any of us: his bed is in a truck, his living room is in a shed, and his bathroom is in a gas station.
Years ago he had spent countless hours massaging Joseph Campbell down at Esalen in Big Sur.
They mused together.
Now probably in his 80s, Bill says he is surprised he has lived as long as he has.
A few years back he stopped massaging muscles and started massaging the stoney dry soil at Ripplewood (also in Big Sur).
Where there had been nothing but weeds and rocks for half a century, he takes a cutting and sticks it directly into the ground. He waters. Up blooms beauty. Blissful life cycles of beauty.
Yes, there is life after 50, daughter of mine.
No need to rush into your future.
Each stage will have gifts to keep your hands full.
I met a number of inspiring people in the last couple of days. One of them is a musician who may not be the rock star he wanted to be a while ago, but he rocks in life none-the-less. If you have that inner song, you can't help singing it, in whatever you do. (This drawing was created a couple of months ago, but it fits an abstract idea of what I felt coming out of him.) Long live the music within, Chris!
Another was a woman who cracked me up, continually, with her charmingly dry wit... totally dead pan, totally unpretentious, totally honest and a little embarrassed about her honesty. Now how, I wonder, can I draw a portrait of that?! The best I can do is put up this drawing, "Seeing Eye to Eye," because I really did understand just about everything she was saying, and she did have a quirky off-the-wall twist to her smile. Wish I'd caught her name!
This drawing does not directly depict the band I heard yesterday, but there was an edgy sound I liked that is vaguely similar to the edge found in this drawing. The singer has the ability to sing with immensely luscious fluidity, but it is the band's edge-abrupt songs that caught my attention. I bought the band's new CD, which favors their dreamy and romantic sounds, but I hope to hear more of their angularity in the future. Happily, one can hear the edge on their website's video selections.
Something strange has occurred. I spoke into a mike today to a large group of writers (word experts!!!) and I didn't choke. To anyone who knows me well and reads this, they now understand that miracles really can happen. There's hope for us all!
(On the other hand, words seem to be come out of me right and left these days! It's totally bizarre behavior and my siblings are quite suspicious that I am an alien in disguise. I keep looking for the turn off switch but haven't yet found it. So I've decided to revel in the noise and also to try to crack as many jokes as possible, to ease the pain of those who have to do the listening. Joseph is my main man!)
I might have a new studio, out in front, where there is green grass for dog play and children tumbling over themselves. My imagination is going wild, envisioning all those little legs running this way and that, testing box corners while adults lumber behind. I anticipate much giggling and sniffing about. The sky is the limit at this age.
Every now and then we come across a person who puts into the space more than she takes. Even when she sits quietly, listening, she is at the peak of generosity. When you and I see a flower, she sees a poem. She is a poem. There's nothing superfluous about her.
I don't see Yon often, and so it was slightly difficult to draw this "lifeline" for Yon, as it had to be created from a great distance. I did my "hone in on the sense of Yon" best, packaged up the drawing, and sent it off.
I just recently had the pleasure of Yon's company, and was relieved to feel I got her drawing within a close vicinity of the truth. Sitting and looking at her from a distance you'll see the soft beauty, and sitting close up (click on the image) you'll see that every line in her being folds in and out of riches of slightly obscure meaning, all honed from deep thought and experience. She has been writing for many years, and I see that her world is now leaning towards a more expansive full flower of expression. Her most recent publication is an e-book: "The Sultan's Cook."
These two small oil pieces are in a local show called "Illusions". So many viewers were surprised to see this style from me, but these two are really not so completely different from the rest of my work. Note the sense of creative flow, where reality dissolves into imaginative thought... from the point of view of the character in the painting, or the viewer viewing the character in the painting. It's all about perspective, even here, in work I created around 2006.
It was soon after these paintings that I turned more directly into abstraction.
I am a visual person who draws and paints about life, viewing the world from a variety of perspectives. Since I have one foot in civilization and one foot in nature, and my head isn't afraid of deep caverns or dizzying heights, I end up in some pretty interesting places. ~ ~ ~
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I have two blogs. Toldileigh.blogspot.com muses about the world through the lens of my art mind. The second blog, Maybeperhapsifyouwill.blogspot.com, is a bunch of nonsense I create by harvesting characters from my artwork and giving them dialogues.
All art/writings in blogs copyright Leigh Toldi unless otherwise specified.