as of saturday, i've been on the road for exactly one month. one month since traveling across the country, since leaving baltimore. three thousand miles, four weeks, and thirty nights of sunsets, and many more to go.
the lessons from the road are plentiful: inner and outer lessons. lessons on trust and community. lessons on being with myself.
as I develop a framework for what this experience is like being on the road, I create a map for how to visually speak about these ideas. a bag of symbols. I explore a practice of what it's like making on the road: how much space do I need? what materials are a necessity? how do I both live and communicate this experience?
part of this studio experience is insisting on presence with the natural world. I felt this necessity, this pull, especially in utah. I turned twenty seven in moab surrounded by rocks and care and adventure. I shared a helicopter ride that morning with my partner, humbled by the perspective shift of seeing the desert from above, floated on the colorado river, and later, explored the desert by vehicle. I stared in awe at the rock formations, feeling the presence of mountains hundreds of million years older than my twenty seven years, feeling both big next to the nearby lizards and small in comparison to the age and staggering size of the mountains.
in the heat of the afternoon I mixed colors referential of my surrounding space: deep and rich browns and reds, thinking about iron and minerals and the inevitable pink sand that comes as result of these behemoth rocks being worn down to dust. working in tandem with the wind, I made marbled papers in celebration of these formations sitting on the sandy beach, watching the breeze carry the colors quickly and with great care across the surface of the water.
in telluride I hiked twenty miles over two days in the san sophia mountains and painted carefully at a hotel table, distilling the experience of a backbend and the experience of the desert lands into a smaller works. I hiked and took note: what is the essence of the shape of a cloud's shadow on a mountain? what are the colors of the sky? what is necessary to remember?
santa fe brought gifts of time and rest, watching the sky as the full moon rose over the mesas, spreading out materials over the table and the creative process over the course of the full day. no appointments to attend to, nothing interrupting. I made paintings, I made a book, I marbled paper, I made a satisfying mess.
some lessons from the last thirty days: that inner and outer things and a creative life require time and space, need stillness and movement. that a studio is mutable, can be in a home, in a car, at a rest stop, by a lake. that the work might just be looking, just breathing, just noticing, for now.