Carol A. More, Artist
Mixed media, collage, heavy gel, found papers, miscellaneous stencils
Hi my loves. Been a while but I’ve been just doing other stuff…and still creating art, because I have to. Not for any typical reason, but for me, making art is like a daily soul scrubbing. Trust me when I say this, but my family is much safer when I emerge from art lab time!
I’ve always loved poetry and a magnificently inspiring 8th grade teacher, Mrs. Maggie Moore, ignited my literary fire that still burns bright. Sadly, I never told her personally how much I appreciated her enthusiastic approach to reading and literary appreciation. And poetry. She deftly dissected an Emily Dickinson poem like a rocket scientist dismantles a fuel pack. Much faster, of course. I wrote an appreciation letter after I read of her death in the newspaper, shocked at the small part her vocation as an English teacher played in her multi-talented theatrical life. Maybe her daughter received the letter but I never knew. I like to think I shined a lovely light on this patient and kind woman who tried hard to overlook my raised and waving hand when she asked for volunteers to play a blonde girl (my hair was almost black) in the play “Corn Tassel”. And I really bombed the night of the play. I have absolutely no talent for drama and had a major attack of stage fright. It took 3 weeks to wash the old “Streaks ‘n Tips” (I’m so dating myself mentioning that product!) greasy metallic green/gold paint from my thick dark locks. I’ve tried hard to cancel out this memory but occasionally – like now – it creeps back insidiously.
Back to Emily Dickinson
Poor Emily, a beloved American poet who during her life, wasn’t celebrated at all. I don’t profess to understand her poetry. How can anyone surmise to understand what she might have meant at the time she wrote each poem? Those things are brief but whoo hooo there’s some serious undertone in the stingy words. People pretend they know but as artists, do you think people always understand (y)our art? Nope. Some of the pieces I’ve created – trust me – you don’t WANT to know what was going through my head at the time. I like to think that’s why “Em” has that hidden ‘guess-what-I’m-thinking-right now” look on her face. Because only SHE knows what emotions spilled from her pen.
I’ve read that she was a recluse, with years passing, never leaving her father’s town-sized yard. I’ve also read that she was driven to write. She HAD to write like she HAD to breathe. It’s sad (for me but maybe not for her) to think that she wasn’t celebrated during her lifetime, but I suspect the very act of creating poetry was enough for her. Just like the very act of creating art in my ‘lab’ is enough for me. A dear friend recently spent time reviewing my work, kindly appreciating (hey, I don’t have children and God knows I’ve spent hours gazing at your family’s vacation photos, so I do not feel guilty dragging it all out into the Great Room for anyone who stands still long enough to look at years of my art!) every single piece, wanting to know what I was feeling and thinking when I created the piece. Bless her kind heart, because I could easily answer each question – even the art created 5 years ago. I could feel my reason for making that piece – the emotion that moved my hand, the subterfuge of secret writing or symbols…I remembered it all like it was moments ago. But I didn’t share ALL of it. No. I kept some of it quietly to myself. Some things should be sacred enough to honor the private inspiration that fueled the work. Like Bob Burridge says, “Don’t tell the whole story. Leave a bit for the viewer to walk in, look around and marvel.” And so, like my sister artist, Emily D., I have to create. Just like I have to breathe.
(Please pause before reading the next less-than-romantic paragraph!)
OK: change of subject here…..Thanks to all of you who used up your Higher Power’s favors to ask for a passing grade on my recent Ayurveda Health Counselor Certification Exam – I passed. Blessings and love to all of you – your inspiration keeps me from feeling like a recluse on days when I never leave my art lab.