I experienced an interesting revelation recently; I was driving in my car and the stereo signal went to static, then completely disappeared. Now this shouldn't seem that odd for those who can remember when we all had bunny ears on our TVs and a wire that hung off the wall for our alarm clock radio. However, for me it came as a bit of a shock; It took me a day or so to figure out that somehow my antennae was busted off the front fender. Now, I don't know if this was something that happened on accident or if I have made someone mad, no matter, it is gone now. I have been pretty busy at work and just didn't feel like getting under the car or under the hood to figure out how to fix the issue. It has been a week now, and I've noticed something:
We have certain 'habits' that we instinctually do without even thinking. For me, one of my habits is getting in the car and turning on some kind of noise (NPR, Radio, Etc.). This doesn't seem that strange, until I started to recognize that I ALWAYS have some kind of noise, it's like I need it. I always have my headphones in, the Spotify or the Radio on around the house, and now that I've been without the radio in the car, when there is just silence, I seem to give myself permission to actively reflect, to pay attention to the rest of my senses and even look at things differently.
You're asking yourself, how does this tie to my art? Often when I am out painting in public I will have a headphone in, trying to tune some of the distractions out with....more distraction (the Irony has been duly noted). When I have my best painting sessions it is usually when I have immersed myself in the environment, either at a restaurant, pub, street corner, or at home while staring at a still life setup on my kitchen table.
Now that I have shared this observation with you, I'd like to challenge you to see what type of habits you have in your life, and what happens when you consciously decide to abstain from them? Leave your comments below, or on Facebook!
Recently most of my work has been focused around preparing for my first solo show (in May) while sipping coffee at Temple Coffee near Cesar Chavez park. I'm going to start tuning in to that environment and I'm sure I'll find some surprises.