An Artists Way

As I walk through this life, I have been many things. I have done many, many things. Some quite poorly while others I have sunk my teeth into and made it into a way to make a living.

As I woke from a deep sleep that, for me, only happens occasionally, I was in the middle of a dream speaking to a room full of folks about what makes an artist an artist.

At the beginning of the talk, no one was much listening to a word I said. The rain was falling outside making the space in which we were in hard to hear. However, as my voice rose with timber as well as intent, the room fell silent. I realized that I had so much to say on this subject that I was slowly turning into a fervent preacher on a hot summers day.

As soon as I woke, I realized that I needed to put these words into some sort of order not only for myself but perhaps for anyone else who might need a little clarity on the subject of what it is to be an artist. Who is an artist, who has the right to be an artist and who has the obligation to live as one.

I am an artist.

I am an artist because I can’t be anything else. This artistry comes from somewhere deep inside of me, above me, surrounds me and overtakes me. It is in every word I say, every gesture I make, every damn thing I create. Is it my skill shining through? I don’t think so. Is it my judgment of others work leading the way? Nope, not that either.

As a gallery owner, I see others come in who work at a craft. They walk through the gallery, silently, or not so silently, judging the work of others. They wear a chip on their shoulder and beat an insecure heart within their chest. They espouse their work and their accomplishments and take no notice of the blood, sweat and tears that others have shed along the way.

Then there are the replicators. Those that can look at some else’s creation and make it. There is no life in it, no authenticity, no real joy coming from it, but yet they can do it.

I have spoken to “book smart” artists who have learned every skill and technique known to humankind. They are technicians and executors of plans, strategies and drawings. They make something so refined as to have no light shining through.

There are crafters and hobbyists. Part-timers and old-timers. Heritage crafts and modern riffs and the list goes on.

What sets all of these apart from a true artists is this.

Authenticity.

Taking a skill and turning it into an art form. Putting away the books and opening up your heart. Realizing that the only reason you create is because you have to create. That all of the accolades and accomplishments; all of the awards and workshops; all of the breakthroughs and breakdowns have gotten you to a place where all that matters is that you create.

You let it flow because if you don’t it will take you down like Volcanic molten lava wiping out a village. It will suffocate you and cause you to deconstruct. The volition of your art has the weight and heft of a Sumo wrestler and you can do nothing else than to submit to its wiles of creativity.

My friend, that’s when you know without a tenuous shadow of a doubt, that you are an artist. At that point, the drive to be in the studio is greater than the need to cut someone else down. You will work tirelessly, without outside influence or direction, just because your need to authenticate your life is greater than being part of a trend or using the Pantone color of the year.

Strip off your considerations, roll up your fucking sleeves and get to work. Without fanfare; without direction and just create.

The Space Between

“Basking”. Lucy Clark/2022

The Space Between

The space between leaving and what is yet to come. The space of becoming, acknowledgement, and knowingness. The space between the inhale where anything can happen and just before the exhale where life is complete.

All of this invites a big, deep, undulating pause.  It’s not so much about the leaving and the arriving as it is about the space between.  The place we can get caught in fear and trepidation, uncertainty and anxiety or deep bull shitting denial.  A place that speaks like no other of the void.  A space that yearns for growth but may be too full of fear to reach for it.  A niche of enlightenment with darkness at the edges.  

I just returned from 5 days in one of my most sacred spaces in this Universe called Santa Fe.  I, at this very moment, am inhabiting the very surreal, ungrounded slightly askew space between.  In years past, I would be concerned for my future.  The trip, so incredibly enchanting and delightful, has stirred up my longing for what’s next.  What will I create, where will I go with it, how I can be more “me” in the process?  All those things that used to scare the light out of me and now, without me even being aware of it has softened into a comfort of unknowing.  

I have ridden this horse enough to know that all will be revealed in its own languid time.  Without force or effort.  Without worry or stress.  I have realized that what is leaving is leaving and what is to come will find its way to my door.  People, places, things, and time have always been and will always be as temporary as a firefly on a warm summer’s night.  

I bow to the space between the word and the world.  The place where magic can happen with a flick of fate and where, in the end, we will always find our way home.

When Kindness Threatens

“Waiting” Lucy Clark

When you find yourself girding your heart

As kindness threatens to take over.

Stop

Drop

……and allow.

Going through life can give us the armor that we need to defend ourselves – but if we wear it like a chastity belt we will never get to the really good stuff.  The stuff of magic and mist; of connection and compassion; of delight and joy.

Without doubt, we will save ourselves from being taken advantage of but without any hope for grace to enter.

You see, when we hold ourselves away from our “higher” voice, we hold ourselves away from our own exponential evolution.  As a person, a friend or a partner.

I can absolutely assure you that being taken advantage of will happen from time to time.  It’s inevitable to be hoodwinked, manipulated and generally disused.  But so what?  What if, all of those things are simply a very miniscule price to pay for the life given to you, the giver, by simply being your kind, generous, compassionate self?  What if, dropping all the armor, you are able to drop the weight you feel suffocated by?   What if, dearest one, all of the guarding, holding and shying away from is simply a way of keeping your self-righteousness in place?  You know, the judging that makes it easier to stay inside our hollowed selves.

This path is not for the weak of spirit.  It will take courage of heart, kindness of spirit and an absolute undying need to see the better in yourself and everyone that you choose to surround yourself with.

Begin by being kind to yourself, healing your own wounds and then, my lovely friend, let it bleed and ooze out to rest of the tattered souls that are doing their best to drop their own armor of safety.

Yours in Art and Beauty, Lucy

A Night of Lights

A Night of Lights

With the whole world breathing,

Community

Compassion and

Hope

A Season of Color

With community leaning into

Celebration

Kindness and

Generosity

A time of celebration

With others joining in

Gratitude 

Friendship and

Light 

A heart full of gratitude

With a space full of

Presence

Joy and

Reverence 

The moment has arrived

It is time

To celebrate 

To release 

To expand

And be well ❤️

Owl Medicine

Morning Harvest; Lucy Clark 2021

To truly transform, one must, each and every day, scrub off the layers of thoughts and considerations from others and be laid vulnerable and naked under a blanket of our own standards. A daunting task to say the least. One that truly requires our authentic self to shine past what others think of us, of our work or our intentions.

We have all been there. Willing, oh so willing to judge another for their reach in this world. Or their lack of ability for self examination. We roll around, thinking unkind thoughts; beating our way through the brush of our own chaos and lighting a candle on someone else’s fire.

And yet, our vulnerability awaits. To be laid quivering and cold, without our protective blanket of what our ego is telling us to believe is mandatory for our growth as an individual riding around the Universe in this human form.

If we are to believe, I mean truly and effortlessly believe, that we are worthy, we must first slog through the bits of bobs of unworthiness and selfishness. Such strange bedfellows but I have seen so many times the two go holding hands while walking down the street of my own delusions.

The ego is a wonderful survival mechanism – one that in my darkest of times has saved me from utter internal destruction. But a great gift can also be one’s most pointed liability. For if we feed our egos more than our authentic personage, we are doomed to being asleep at the wheel. But, if we pay our true selves just a bit more than our blubbering, boastful hobbit of an ego, we begin to see who we are starting to become peep through. And, I gotta tell you, it’s a whole lot easier living with the love of oneself than the condemnation brought on by believing we are unworthy of prosperity, love, adoration and forgiveness.

I am in the middle of transformation and, truthfully, it always comes with a side of fear, uncertainty and doubt. But, if I am to release from the Chrysalis of my own making I just gotta trust the process. And, my friend, I hope you do, too.

See you on the other side……

The Knock at the Door

The Knock at the Door: Lucy Clark 2021

To have Joy 

And invite her in.

To feel Sorrow,

And do the same.

Happiness

Anger, grief and apathy

All deserve a place, too.

To invite each one in

When it knocks at your door

Offering them a seat at the table

And a cup of hot tea

To expand our table so vast

That it holds All that we are

And all that we can be

Without morphing Blessings into Worry

Is the exact moment we can find solace

That accepting ourselves

Is our only salvation

And exactly what we have been waiting for.

When the Mirror Falls Away

A Single Bud; Lucy Clark

When The Mirror Falls Away

Our hand losing its fierce grip

Begging a different version of ourselves

That we reflect outward to the skies

But internally find deep dis-ease.

The mirror that tells us to be somebody else

Anybody else

Because who we are now

Lacks the shine of a story

We can never own.

What will we do with the empty hand of our own judgment?

Will we pick up the fractured glass and pray we can piece it together?

Or will we simply stretch our tendons,

Knowing that the time has come

To shine as ourselves.

Without reflection

Without Distortion

Without Blame

Alone, knowing

We are ready to face

Unencumbered

Forward.

Losing Track of Letting Go

QUIETUDE; Lucy Clark 2018

It can happen with a nod of time lost;

Of details in abundance;

Of mind work replacing soul work.

And one day, you look around and just know,

Without a shadow of gray in the early morning light,

That, YOU are lost.

Lost to your own voice

To the din of the “to do” list

To your souls yearning,

And your hearts Desire

But, there is always this moment

A moment of recognition

Of reflection

Of renewed committment

To YOUR Life seed

Sprouting from the soil

That you placed there

When you were Aware.

And then there is Now.

The Germination of All Things

“IN THE BEGINNING” Lucy Clark 2021

While walking within the mist of a mountain morning, I saw this beauty. I know, I know, it isn’t much. It’s just a cracked seed fallen from the mother tree above. But the gift it gave me is priceless.

I have been struggling with the absence of my creative work. With the success and expansion of the gallery has come reduced time to be in my studio. It has laid heavy on my heart and on my shoulders. A feeling of missing an old friend where the dance of our time together had become comfortable. Expected. Routine.

This little gem of a seed gave to me the realization and reminder that all things, even preciously adored things, have a chapter. And those chapters can either repeat in the future or they have an ending. The emotion we put on those chapters that have come before are of our very own choosing. No one else’s.

And, it is so, once again, in my evolution as an artist. Even though I may not be creating as prolifically as I once have in the physical form, I am still, very much a creator and purveyor of beauty. It has just taken on a new expanded perspective.

And, just as the seed needs to crack itself open with water, light and shadows, so must we. To see that what is before us may not be what has come before. But, it could never the less, be beautiful indeed.

Lucy

Photo/Writing Lucy Clark 2021

The Path Toward Us

In the Morning; Lucy Clark 2021

If I could tell you one thing it would be this.

Outwit your doubts. Give them a maze of self care and love that is so vast they simply just peter out, give up, throw up their hands with the hard, gritty work of getting you to make yourself smaller and wander off to doubt themselves.

And one more thing.

Take your inner critic out for a leisurely drive and show them all of the places, faces, crevices and refracted sides of your lovely soul. Let that miserable fucker see the beauty reflected in your eyes and deep within your heart until it simply cracks in to a shattered mess of butterfly wings, flying off to find the love it so richly deserves, just like you.

And lastly.

Show your anxiety the lushness of a single, solitary flower petal. Ask it to slowly brush its fingertips along the roads and byways of its visible veins allowing the softness to seep into your hands as you walk through a veil of mist from your future worry into the present moment.

And then…..be Whole ❤️

Photo/Writing Lucy Clark 2021