I confess, I am obsessed. Artwork absorbs me to such an extent that I forget to eat; I mean it’s such a colossal annoyance to stop for a meal. Seriously, I’d love to just strap on some intravenous, vitaminized gloop and carry on with my work. Daily hygiene is also a necessary evil. I’d skip it altogether if not for the other people in the world (taking pity on their sense of smell, I occasionally sacrifice the time).
When I’m working, nothing is sacred…my kitchen egg-flipper still has chips of paint on it from some long-forgotten adventure in art. I gather household items around me like Pig-pen’s cloud, as I foment the latest creation. It’s an obsession. Fortunately, my obsession brings me joy not anxiety. And there’s no stigma attached to being an eccentric artist…my OCD is socially acceptable. Everyone knows artists are crazy.
For the last couple of years I’ve concentrated on photography and graphic art. These two hobbies shouldn’t generate much mess, right? Ha! When I’m taking photos, I can’t just snap things in their current location and condition….that would be too neat and tidy. No, I have to decorate them with bits of lace, or outline them with light from sparklers or freeze them in ice. At the moment I have a piece of glass out on my patio(rescued from some old picture frame) where I’m taking advantage of the current cold snap to coat it with ice. I’ll use it later, for better or worse, to create some new images under ice.
For as long as I can remember, one project or another has cluttered up my living space. The freaky thing is, disorder upsets my equilibrium so I compulsively clean today, and I’ll obsessively create a new mess tomorrow.
To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, art is undeniably a jealous mistress (or in my case, mister). Relationships definitely suffer neglect when you’re wrapped up in paper mache and tubes of glitter….(unless you’re using them in novel ways outside my normal methods). People become extraneous and just as much an inconvenience as eating a meal… or more so…at least the meal doesn’t expect conversation.
Here is one of the harvests from my obsession. This one required burning sparklers in the kitchen, dropping remnants of ash in the kitchen sink, as well as coating the top of the range with dripping candle wax. I never notice the mess I’m making until I come out of the zone…..and then it’s back to compulsive tidying.
and if I happen to scatter a little broken glass here and there, who’s to notice?
When I was younger, I tried to fit into society’s standard of a “normal” life…..someone else’s vision of normal. Now I’m old enough to understand that my life is normal….for me.
And it’s damn good.
Links to header images: