Out Of My Studio and Into Mass Moca

A close up of “Pass” by Louse Bourgeois

I didn’t count, but it had to be 5 or 6 potholders that I started then threw in the garbage.

I  sold out of all my “Thinking of Spring Potholders” pretty quickly, so I decided to make more.  But it seems today was not the day to do it.  I just couldn’t get anything right.  The  animals were all out of proportion, the ears to long the bodies too short, and the flowers were awkward.

The more I tried, the more mistakes I made, the more frustrated I became.

I grumbled to Jon when I went in the house to say goodbye to him as he left for this radio show.  He tried to help, but I just grumbled some more.  Then he said I probably needed a break.  I told him what I really wanted to do was to go to a museum.  I needed to get out of the studio, even a walk in the woods wasn’t appealing to me.

I needed to be someplace else.

Jon encouraged me to go.  He’s been an artist working from home longer that I have and understands creativity and its needs.

I begged out of my duties as the Roving Correspondent on Jon’s radio show Talking to Animals, turned off the heat in my studio, ate lunch and headed out to Mass Moca, the old mill that is now a contemporary art museum in North Adams, Massachusetts.

As soon as I got on the road I began to feel better.  Like I was just where I was supposed to be.

When I walked into the museum, I felt my whole body relax.  All I had to do was wander the old mill building filled with art, and look, and see.

The art filled all my senses.

As if affirming my decision, I was welcomed with the smell of earth in the first galley.  Rafa Esparza creates canvases from mud, horse dung, and hay to paint on.

Even though I knew it wasn’t allowed, I asked the guard if I could  touch Louise Bourgeois’ marble sculptures.  I don’t know how I kept my hands off of them.   And although I  had seen it before, this time I was awed by the beauty of TM Davy’s painting Fire Island Moonrise. 

Fire Island Moonrise by TM DavyI’ve never done this before, spontaneously gone to a museum on a work day to look at art.  But it was so good for me.  It  was just what I needed to do, creatively and personally.  I can’t say exactly why, just that I felt so much better being there and coming back home.

I hope I remember this the next time I feel this way.  I hope I remember to trust my instincts when they call to me, leave my studio for a day and find some art to look at.

 

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