Creative Solitude

The all too necessary (momentary) sabbatical post-show

It’s become a bit of a habit. That is, taking the time to pause after toiling in the studio leading up to an exhibition. Before a show, my pulse is quickened. Perpetually. I’m a bit frantic. Ecstatic. Unsure of how things will look outside of my studio. How pieces that I have stared at for months on end will actually be consumed. Excited. A little freaked out, admittedly. And full of adrenaline.

The letdown starts after the phenomenal buzz of a show opening slowly subsides. After the fierce current of activity has swelled to its highest level and slowly, like the gray-blue tide, washes out leaving what lies beneath exposed. And I am left alone on that beach, left to explore and see what has been placed softly  — leaving gentle imprints on the damp sand beneath foot. Things to pick up and study, things to take with me, things to leave behind.

These moments in between are always restorative. Peaceful. And quite strange. I’ve done it a million times over and still, I find I am unsure of what exactly I should do with myself during this little break. I fidget. I wander. Finally, after a few weeks of sitting in that in-between space with in-between thoughts, I find that I start to get anxious. I tend to visit several art galleries and museums during this time. I talk about it obsessively. Or maybe I just think about it. I wait until there’s the all too familiar flood. A rising of this internal tide. Again. It slowly washes and builds. Peaks rising in elevation. And then, when the delight of it is something I can no longer ignore nor hold onto, I walk back into my studio and start again. Anew. And so it goes.

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