Being in the flow and Agnes Martin
“The most excellent jihad is that for the conquest of self.” – Colum McCann
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi
“Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings.” – Agnes Martin
There are many ways to quiet down the mind at times of fear and high anxiety; some are destructive in the long run. Of those that are not, I am always drawn to making art, working with my hands, and letting the mind be in the zone. There are days that it feels like being in the flow; on other days, it’s all about holding it together, like a cork in a bottle, gripping tight all that I don’t want to crack open or simply cannot because often I don’t know what I am feeling until days, weeks or years later. I can’t wait to be back on the dance floor with my dance community, where I can let that cork pop open, pour out some of that locked-up energy, and maybe experience some freedom.
Since this COVID-19 house arrest began, I started a new series of paintings – colored stripes, one touching the other. The vision is to create an analogous composition and to constantly remind me that the way I see one color is seldom as it is but in relation to the adjacent color. There are infinite variations, many types of colors, and brushes; in other words – the exploration is endless.
When I reach the point of flow in this work, my mind is so concentrated on the brush’s tip that I am becoming one with it. Sometimes, the paint’s viscosity is so soft that it feels like butter and produces long, uniform lines with one stroke. Other times, the paint is thick like cement and must be laid dot by dot.