Winging It

I have flown to New York and home again since my last blog, and though I was blown about a bit by circumstances and events, I begin to believe the trip was worthwhile – that experiences gleaned will gestate slowly into something new and surprising.

The drawing I have posted is in the exhibit at the Luise Ross Gallery, one of three that was hung. Called “Joyful Reunion”, it was purchased at the opening by a lovely man with whom I spoke at length about dance and yoga, and how the practice of meditative movement can transmute into other forms of expression. I am pleased that this particular expression has found such a home.

It is a lovely exhibit – with art by my father, Walter, as well as by my Sister, Mary, my nephew Christopher, my niece, Mary Annette – and, of course, my own work. There is also a silkscreen from my father’s blockprint of Beauty and The Beast, printed by Carolyn Anderson and painted by her daughter, Mary Annette. The arrangement on the walls seems almost random – no names are with the pieces – which accentuates the relatedness of all the art. The “legacy” is apparent; we have all been affected. I think, especially, the influence of nature is echoed through out this blending of diverse personalities from the same family. Given this acknowledged influence, I cannot give all the credit for my creative expression to my father’s genius. It is said that we who are related to Walter Anderson cannot call ourselves self-taught – no matter the lack of training. I have difficulty with this, because I was there to witness my own awkward fumbling with various mediums – the initial messy attempts that led to piles of ink or paint-smeared paper on the floor around my feet. I was there to lift cracked or exploded sculptures out of the kiln. I have allowed myself to play with color as a child might play – splashes and smears of paint going onto the paper without thought for what might manifest – with occasional interesting results. I believe that whatever courage has led to these endeavors comes primarily from my experience with dance. Improvisation is my delight. Though I did have training in Ballet, and I did find form through Airth, my most dependable approach to the making of art has been to wing it. And to wing it one must transcend the fear which always comes first. As with the little birds that inspired my drawing, I must let myself fall before I can fly.

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2 Responses to “Winging It”

  1. Kendall Says:

    Well and clearly said, Leif. We have influences, teachers, models, encouragements and disappointments, attempts and failures, and each of us travels alone. Each of us pulls out of us what is there, inflected by the light that surrounds us, the shadows, the fears, the brain-chemicals, the genes, and the inner work that comes from a place of complete alone-ness which, in its transcendent moments, is at-one-ment. I’m so glad you’ve made this statement in your blog. I think it needs to be saved, preserved, and quoted. I CANNOT GIVE ALL THE CREDIT FOR MY CREATIVE EXPRESSION TO MY FATHER’S GENIUS. Yes. Say it. Say it loudly. Amen.

  2. leiflife Says:

    Oh, dear friend, I thank you for this. I couln’t imagine writing about the “New York” experience, but this morning I went early for a haircut and while I was being washed by a sweet young man, I found myself talking about the exhibit and that popped out of me. I CANNOT GIVE ALL THE CREDIT FOR MY CREATIVE EXPRESSION TO MY FATHER’S GENIUS. When I returned I went to the blog and let myself fall. I guess I flew.

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