I can’t say I wasn’t warned. Friends from many places told me I was going to find a spiritual home in San Diego – a home for my creative spirit – and sure enough I have.
When I look through the local newspapers, my one lament is “so much to do, so little time.” Of course, I’m not a participant in all those activities. I don’t play an instrument or sing (except in the car, alone), I’m not a dancer (except late at night in my living room, alone), and I’m no longer on any stage (except the private theatre of my mind, alone). But I’m a writer and a fledgling artist.
These days I lean toward gallery openings and art classes and conversations with working artists whenever possible. To my great pleasure, this is indeed a city of riches. To paraphrase Alexandra del Lago in Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth, I’m not old, but I’m no longer young, “not young, young” anymore. So the pressure is on to work at the visual art as much as possible, and there are so many ways to do that here.
I’m exploring all possible avenues and finding much encouragement in the city in which I now find myself. Add to that my own late-hour willingness to explore and experiment, my new-found willingness to make mistakes and hope for “happy accidents,” and my memory of the words of an artist friend from many years ago: “We are all richly gifted with inexperience.”
I remember those words every day, including the days when nothing goes right, but then again, nothing goes really wrong. Learning to be a collage/mixed media artist is much bigger than simply putting pieces together. I’m learning a whole new philosophy of life.
For a collage artist, every misbegotten scrap of paper or picture or tiny leaf or bit of detritus can be used to make something new – with luck something beautiful. If that isn’t a life lesson, I don’t know what is.