Steroids, Poison Ivy and a glimpse of “The Big Bang”
No, this is not a future episode of “The Big Bang Theory” (although, now that I think about it, I probably should write it up…Sheldon helps clean the neighborhood). It’s about 4am and I can’t sleep. Not really sure if it is the itching, the medication I’ve been on, or the fact that I have to complete four paintings in about a week. I’m in the final stages of completing my ten painting series “Before There Were Heroes”. There is a sense of urgency. I am applying to Artspace in Raleigh for their “Regional Emerging Artist-in-Residence” program. Lots of things have got to fall into place for this to happen.
Wait, back up. I forgot about the poison ivy for a moment (itch, itch)… So, I did a neighborhood clean up of a jungle of brush about 2 weeks ago. I came to find out that most of the brush that I was hauling in my arms and walking around was laced with poison ivy. That was not too smart. I definitely have bad, allergic reactions to the stuff and hence the need for steroids. I guess all artists have their issues: Hemmingway had his drink, Van Gogh his mental state, and me…Poison Ivy? Well, it may not be the “romantic” affliction you may have guessed from this artist, but that’s the way it is.
Steroids…hmmm? I’m pretty much done with the set I was given. The nurse practitioner (it’s the 21st century. I went to “Minuet Clinic”) said that there could be side effects to the steroids. Was all this surge of energy from the steroids? I’ve been going full throttle painting and thinking of my next artworks for about 2 weeks (which is about the same time that I’ve been on the steroids.) Coincidence? What happens after I run out? Will I lose the creativity? I hope that I get more sleep, but I can tell you that something is different.
I’ve had a lot of time thinking while painting: Working on “The Darkened Chamber”, “The Doctor is Here”, “3, 2, 1” and “No Escape” has been eye opening. It seemed the more I wanted to complete the series, the more complex my artworks have become. I remember sitting in front of the computer saying, “Ok, keep this simple, so I can get on with the next idea.” Well, only the opposite occurred…Way more creativity coming out.
The sleepless nights I’ve had and “frantic” waking hours are a lot different than my wife’s sleepless hours. (She, also an educator, has had many a sleepless night, but for different circumstances.) My head has been throbbing and chest pounding from all the stuff I need to do, but not worried sick way. I want to get this stuff done and it is a pleasure to think about it. It’s hard to shut off the creative spark in the middle of the night. It’s also frustrating to try and get my day job accomplished while knowing that there’s so much art that has to be made. The 80’s pop/graffiti artist, Keith Haring, once said something about this: he mentions that he created a lot of art, but that the creativity never ceases. There’s always art that has to be made and that in any artist’s lifetime, you’ll never have enough time. He died in 1990 at age 31.
Like the ever, elusive Higgs-Boson particle has thought to have been found…I think I may have had a glimpse of: “The Creative Spark”.