The Residency Chronicles – Wicked Game:: Explicit Death In The Studio

 

"Lie To Me" © 2009 Janice Tanton.

"Lie To Me" © 2009 Janice Tanton. 60x40, oil on linen.

No coincidence that the first day of my residency at Leighton Artist Colony at The Banff Centre was planned on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Tragedy occurs across the globe on any given day, to all cultures and beings.  With tragedy, as with great fortune, change is the accompanying and perhaps less illusionary companion.

Ten years ago, the events of 9/11 led to a transformation for me which I consider serendipitous. Because of  9/11, I met my soulmate and my life changed drastically although not without pain and a period in a my life where I did not paint or create. I was scheduled to be on a plane to Tibet for an arranged trek into the Kingdom of Mustang on horseback on September 12th. 9/11 changed all that. I cancelled the trip to be home with family, and as a result, met the love of my life four days later. Traumatic and beautiful in so many ways. Our daughter Grace would likely never have become…without 9/11.

With 9/11  came the realization that we need to be explicit. Explicit in what we like and don’t like. Explicit in what we love and what we do not love. Explicit in how we use our time. Explicit in spending time with those we love and telling them each day and each moment how important they are.

It is also no coincidence that I planned for the last day of my residency to be on Thanksgiving Sunday. All thoughts of a gluttonous turkey feast aside, I want to remember each day how thankful I am for those around me who support and care for me, my family and the world and who help me create.

The residency has gone well. The first week, I spent in a flurry sketching out and getting some underpaintings done that were just waiting to bust out. No less that 20 new works tumbled out of me in those first few days. After that, things got a bit rocky with a ton of visitors in and out of my space. Don’t get me wrong. I welcomed the support, input and visit. It can get a bit freaky when you’re in the middle of the woods with your music and your art for any extended period of time and talking to someone other than you and the many people that inhabit your mind….is a good thing.

Now in my third of four weeks, I’ve purposefully and explicitly kicked everyone out and am busy developing up some of the flurry of newborns that started this journey with me. Chris Isaak seems to be sticking with me – this must be the 1000th haunted time I’ve played “Wicked Game”.

I’m feeling a bit badly this morning. Yesterday, I did something new in my work that I’ve never done before and it came out quite successfully. I left after a marathon 12 hour day and returned this morning to see if it was really as good as I thought it was when I left yesterday. Upon arriving at the studio, I went to check it out immediately (and yeah…it’s fricking GREAT) but I immediately noticed a plethora of little bugs had committed hari kari in the wet paint. Closer inspection revealed an area where a large moth landed, got stuck and then obviously could not get out. The fluttering left moth-dust everywhere in one section of the piece, and I daren’t touch it until it’s all dried. I feel badly because the moth and the other little bugs died in the paint. Normally, I think I would be quite peeved and more worried about how to fix the darned painting but because of the subject matter in the painting, it struck me deeply. (And no…I’m not going to tell you what it is, it’s that precious to me. Once the full body of work is completed, I’ll share – but not until then.)

Upon a morning of reflection, I know how to fix the painting….but the thought always that something new that I created also meant the passing of some of this world’s creatures is somehow very sad to me. A reminder again of how fleeting life is – any life. How important it is to be explicit. How the events of 9/11 can change one’s life…. and a Phoenix can arise from the ashes.

Explicitly?…..I’d be personally pleased to kick the bucket in a painting, but I’m not volunteering yet.

-Full Time Human Being

__________

Wicked Game – Chris Isaak

The world was on fire 
No one could save me but you. 
Strange what desire will make foolish people do 
I never dreamed that I’d meet somebody like you 
And I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you 

No, I don’t want to fall in love 
[This love is only gonna break your heart] 
No, I don’t want to fall in love 
[This love is only gonna break your heart] 
With you 
With you 

What a wicked game you play 
To make me feel this way 
What a wicked thing to do 
To let me dream of you 
What a wicked thing to say 
You never felt this way 
What a wicked thing to do 
To make me dream of you 
v And I don’t wanna fall in love 
[This love is only gonna break your heart] 
And I don’t want to fall in love 
[This love is only gonna break your heart] 

{World was on fire 
No one could save me but you 
Strange what desire will make foolish people do 
I never dreamed that I’d love somebody like you 
I never dreamed that I’d lose somebody like you 

No I don’t wanna fall in love 
[This love is only gonna break your heart 
No I don’t wanna fall in love 
[This love is only gonna break your heart] 
With you 
With you 

Nobody loves no one 

6 thoughts on “The Residency Chronicles – Wicked Game:: Explicit Death In The Studio

  1. Vanessa Turner

    What a wonderful read Janice. You made me laugh when you said “talk­ing to some­one other than you and the many peo­ple that inhabit your mind….is a good thing”… that’s hilarious and I can totally relate because artists work in solitude most of the time and we often need that break even if it’s not by choice.
    Very interesting how art keeps relating back to life’s journey. Things come and go, they have to, but the process isn”t easy. Can’t wait to see your new works. It’s already evident that they resonate deeply with you which will show in your work. Keep it up girlie! Luv your blog!

    Reply
  2. Vanessa Turner

    What a wonderful read Janice. You made me laugh when you said “talk­ing to some­one other than you and the many peo­ple that inhabit your mind….is a good thing”… that’s hilarious and I can totally relate because artists work in solitude most of the time and we often need that break even if it’s not by choice.

    Very interesting how art keeps relating back to life’s journey. Things come and go, they have to, but the process isn”t easy. Can’t wait to see your new works. It’s already evident that they resonate deeply with you which will show in your work. Keep it up girlie! Luv your blog!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Sacred Space - The Artist's Residency | Janice Tanton :: Full Time Human Being

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