We are closing out one hell of a year.
Usually my reflections at year end are pretty generic: “I did this well at the job”, or “I brought this new aspect to my relationship.” Even better: “I kept healthy, but next year I am going ‘vegan'”…
But it’s 2020, and every time I delve into the idea of looking back on this year, I find myself focusing on that awful, but once-in-a lifetime (I hope) experience! The quarantine was a catastrophe for many people I feel fortunate I made it out in one piece, let alone with several new hobbies. I have already mentioned the piano in a previous post, but, I actually may have it beat.
Perpetual beta, as you may know, is a philosophy, an agile, constantly refining, mindset. And one completely new hobby that really pushed me out of my comfort zone this quarantine was watercolor. Yes, watercolor, simple watercolor. Although Google’s definition is a bit beyond simple, the practice of it for me was completely mundane, yet somehow, therapeutic.
If you want to see my rough designs, go ahead, as you can see I have one favorite muse…
Compared to the amazing work being done out there, mine seems juvenile. Look at the artist Nahum. What started as a contemplation of gravity and weightlessness and existence, culminated in a special space flight with 9 artists and a scientist. The exhibit, the Contours of Presence is an interactive experience, there is even a pulse activated mirror that is connected to a space station. When an observer touches the mirror, their pulse and heartbeat is sent to space and culminates in a light response/technology sculpture in space for the observer to see. Learn more about the world’s first interactive artwork in outer space here.
Interestingly, Nahum’s creative impetus was a moment on the space flight. He was zero gravity and lost touch of his physicality and then his existence. The only thing that brought him back to himself was grabbing the hand of his fellow artist. It was the relation to the other that brought him to himself.
Art during quarantine was a lot like that for me. Watercolor asked me to look at things, or people, I had looked at most days. I obliged, and what I realized was how much you need to see to make art. I was reminded how important my subject was, and was awakened to their incessant mystery. It is a similar paradox to Nahum’s. We were so alone during that period, some still are, but my simple watercolor was a new way to reach out to my others and remind myself I am here, I am okay. We are here, and we are okay.