The Finish Line………sort of

It’s been almost a year since I decided to “climb that tree and venture out onto that limb” by registering for a three week stay at Ghost Ranch in Abuiqui, New Mexico.  With a much needed grant and a surprising emerging artist award, I was able to fund my trip and relax into the exploration of my artistic boundaries.  I had no idea how my experiences would influence or inform my work.  All I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, is that it would.  

Fast forward to today.  I just returned from delivering 24 new vessels, 3 wall sculptures and 13 pendants to The Gallery at Flat Rock, located in Flat Rock, North Carolina.  My one person show, “Sacred Ground, Bringing New Mexico Home”, opens on Friday, July 14th.  All of these pieces have been inspired by my trip – most of them created using micaceous clay which is indigenous to New Mexico. 

There is an overwhelming sense of satisfaction, accomplishment and sadness in the completion of this grand adventure.  I have been so ensconced in the flow of the work, the evolution of my artistic voice and wanting to make those that believed in me proud.  It filled every waking, and most sleeping moments.  I have had revelations and disappointments, moments of “creative” orgasms and periods of obstacles that are all part of the process.  What I can tell you, unequivocally, is that it was all worth it.

I have learned more, pushed through fixed conditions, ventured into almost every “what if” moment with action and determination.  Did I make worthy art?  Did I do clay proud?  Honestly……..I have no idea.  That really isn’t for me to say.  What I do know is that, to this point in my life, given all that I am, I did my very best.  And that, my dear friends, is enough ❤️

Please visit my website for more information on the upcoming show and artist talk – http://www.lucyclarkpottery.com

The next adventure awaits!!!

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Working for a Living……..

Through someone’s recent post, I have been contemplating the commodity of art.  The question that it raises in my mind is this…..Does it cheapen our self worth or the value of our art if we create with the expressed intent to sell?  This, for me, stimulates both sides of my brain.

The left side of my brain speaks to the facts –  that we simply must live in the real world.  We all have bills to pay, a living to make and a life to lead.  All of those things are made gracefully easier with money in the bank.  Everyone, including yours truly, offers fee for service in some way, shape or form.  I have a massage practice during the day that keeps me in clay and sawdust.  I had a friend once tell me that everyone is prostituting themselves all of the time in exchange for a living, some forms of prostitution are just more legal than others.

The right side of my brain pipes up and says…….Hey! Wait a minute!!  How can you put a value on creating?  If creation comes from a “source point”, a higher self or a higher universe, is it really ours to sell?  Artists get stuck in this conundrum more often then they would like to admit.  It’s hard to put a value on something that just flows out of us like water.  I know, for myself, that if I didn’t sell another piece of my work, my husband would simply have to build more shelves in our home…….and our garage……..and maybe a shed or two in the backyard.  I create mostly for myself – because it makes me a better person and because, if I didn’t, my life wouldn’t be nearly as rich in passion and creativity. 

But, in this time and place, artists must use both sides of their brain if they have the intention of living from the proceeds of their art.  I personally don’t think that it devalues the work if you choose to sell what you create.  Here’s the bottom line for me……..if joy visits you while you are thinking about, talking about or creating art why wouldn’t you want to do that every day, all day long, for as long as you live and breath here in this lovely place we call home?  By creating beauty, we, as artists, are making this world a richer, more vibrant, glorious place to be.  By purchasing art, collectors are causing this cycle of Joy, Creation and Beauty to continue.  If all of this puts a smile on your face, by all means, delve in and participate in this life affirming action.  I don’t know of a single person that doesn’t want or need more of the good stuff in their lives.

See Art…..Love Art…..Buy Art

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The Power of Progress

I have been sitting at my pottery table for a few hours today.  Lots of other things have gotten in front of creating lately.  A move, work, obligations, holidays, the list has been quite long.  I have had pockets of birthing my “soul babies” during this time, with a very large (literally) success of firing the biggest piece to date.  She is almost 20″H and 16″W.  To me, she is all sorts of big and beautiful.  However, she was followed by an epic failure while carving another large piece.  It collapsed onto itself as I was pushing the envelope of size and structure.  I have a tendency to push my way a lot in life; sometimes it pays off, sometimes is doesn’t.

I have been feeling some anxiety lately – nothing of substance that I can put my finger on, but anxiety none the less.  I realized during a period of “emotional palpating” this evening that I tend to walk myself out onto the preverbal limb a lot, especially with my art.  A lot of people might view me as courageous, or naive, or simple, or delusional.  What others think doesn’t really matter in the long term scheme of things.  However, what I think does.  You see, I have an overwhelming desire to push the envelope in my life as well as my art.  I am quite terrified every day about it, sometimes having to remind myself to breathe…………simply in and then out.  But if I don’t do it for myself………who will?  If I am not the change I wish to see in the outer world as well as my inner world, then who is?

I don’t want  to look back on my life and have regrets of “should have”, “could have”, “would have” and “if only”.  Yes, I hear “no” my fair share; I get discouraged, disillusioned and have moments of great self doubt.  But have you ever met a person who doesn’t?  It comes with the territory of discovery – get used to it.  It doesn’t mean you are not “good enough” – it just means that there is another door, another creation, another discovery just waiting for you to find it.  If you stop looking, your future, your life and your destiny could disappear before your eyes.Image

Show up for your Life……….Yes, it can be terrifying.  But guess what?  I could use a little company 🙂

The Energy of Art

Every artist that has ever created anything has done so with Energy by their side.  Whether they were aware of it or not makes no difference.  Wherever we are in our own life reflects upon our creations.  However, over and above this, is the true essence of each artist coming through each piece.  It’s like with each new creation we are reaching back to our beginning and finding the ethereal thread that holds our life and our purpose together.  Everything we are, that we have ever been, culminates into the next piece that shows up.

As a society, we tend to dwell on the bottom third of life.  The drama, the violence, the power of it all.  Since most of the artists I know are incredibly sensitive a lot of art tends to reflect the jagged energy of that environmental turbulence.  Even if we are not experiencing the imminent threat of those heavy energies, we tend to pick up on them and create around them.  There are times when we may think we are creating what’s inside of us when in actuality we are simply being influenced by the collective.

To be able to detach from the “agreed upon” reality and to express one’s own true essence is the sweet nectar of art and life.  To move through the commotion to our own sense of sanctuary where we can be still, envision and put forth our highest, truest art………is a testament to life.  Image

The Birth of a Pot

I recently had the opportunity to create some awards for a wonderful organization that supports the arts in my community.  I rarely create “for” someone else.  I usually just begin and let the clay universe take it from there.  My motto is to “let go and let clay”.  The more I release control of the outcome, the more the piece shows up.

But creating for someone else is a very different mind set.  It takes getting into their space a bit – figuring out who they are, where their “essence” shows up.  I spent many hours contemplating before my hands even touched the clay.  I simply asked the universe to show me the way……..and it responded.

After the pieces were finished, dried and fired the time came for me to hand them over.  I did it with a “business as usual” attitude but soon fell into a well of sadness.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out where the blues were coming from – the pieces turned out well, they were handed over in one piece and I had completed the goal I set out to achieve.  And yet……there it was, staring me in the face; a deep sense of sadness and loss.

I pulled up my “big girl panties” and went off to yoga.  One of the best remedies for me when I am faced with depression is exercise.  So, there I was in the middle of a particularly challenging class with my favorite instructor, Jess, when it dawned on me.  As I quieted my mind of all of the external noise and put my focus on my mat and my physical being, it freed up my space and my spirit to wander.  I realized that the sadness and loss I was feeling was for handing over my “soul” babies.  Those pieces which I had put such thought, time and love into, were gone in an instant and off to their forever homes. After a day or so, I was able to acknowledge my emotions, cry for their leaving and be liberated from my dark cloud.

I created these pieces, not for myself but for others that had taken their passion and purpose and turned it into an art form.  They were never mine………they were meant for these special peopleImage and I was only a conduit to let them take shape. I can only hope that the individuals who received them felt the love……….