Inspired by....a cemetery
A cemetery inspired me this week. I was getting a junior bacon cheeseburger at Wendy's in East Hartford. As I waited in the drive thru, I noticed the cemetery across the street. I was drawn to it. I could imagine images about death and grief in my alien series. I saw aliens grieving standing at a gravesite.
I tried to take pictures from my car of the ancient tombstones as I ate my hamburger, but I knew that I needed to go down into the graveyard and immerse myself in the tombstones and monuments.
I surrounded myself with the old towering monuments that marked large lives and small ones. I saw abstract paintings and illustrative work. I walked on top of ant hills, sand, and barely surviving grass. I took picture after picture after picture. Trying to compose. Trying to capture. Trying to remember all I had seen--all I had dreamed. And in a strange unusual way I was comforted in my own grief. Grief I thought I was ready to bear. Grief I didn't understand until it came. Grief that can still reach out wrap itself around me and immobilize me.
I drove home hoping and praying that no one would disrupt my thoughts, need me to listen to them, ask me for help, until I could get down on paper all I had thought about, all I had envisioned, all I had dreamed.
I worked diligently in my sketchbook trying to grasp in the 30 minutes or so before I needed to start dinner all the thoughts, ideas, emotions I had felt. I emptied myself on the page in pictures, phrases, notes, ideas. Then completely spent, I made dinner.
The next day I could not start on anything else until I had taken out my painting sketchbook and collaged, painted, drawn and conveyed just a fraction of what had inspired me. I did two paintings--one abstract and one illustrative. Both brought me peace. Both brought me joy.
I worked until the need to express was spent and I could settle down to work on my Thanksgiving drawing again.