Creation / Destruction


“FINE LINE”, 1998, 11″ x 11″ x 4″, m/m
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Two years ago I burned a large collection of past paintings.

They had been shipped back to me from a long time gallery I had worked with which was closing it’s doors.

When I saw the work unwrapped in my studio, none of it felt like me.

It wasn’t bad work at all, in my eyes.

Just past tense.

Sometimes, the life from which a work of art is born is instilled in the piece itself and that life can carry a work for eons.

It will have a substance all it’s own and a stand-alone quality.

This past work I was now confronting was created from a less-than-authentic place in me.

And it showed.

Perhaps not to others but surely I could tell.

And so..what does one do faced with this situation?

Put the work back into the marketplace hoping for a check here and there?

I have reached a point in my life where I DO feel true and real.

My conscience would not let me return the work to be sold.

So I burned it.

I made a ceremony out of the event and invited friends and had someone take a chainsaw to my paintings before they met their demise.

The point of all this drama was to let the universe know that I was seriously ready for change.

It was the beginning of my MS symptomology rearing it’s head in ways could not avoid.

My right hand was not working well and I was tired.

Intuitively, I knew that healing could only come from me taking a stand in my life for a shift away from anything I was giving energy to which did not serve me in some way.

And so.. how does one do that?

By burning my work I was consciously making room for something new to arrive.

And arrive it did.

And continues to do so.

And I marvel at the courage it actually takes to radically invite and welcome change.

If I had done it in a ‘tidy’ way, I might still be steeped in a ‘Cathy’ I wasn’t all that fond of.

Here is a photograph of the Hindu goddess KALI, the creator / destroyer.

She is not pretty.

Fierce? Yes.

But probably not your first choice as a dinner partner.

The thing is that change is messy and exhausting and it can rip your heart out from the horror of it all.

But KALI never leaves us empty if we feed her with our courage like that.

Her rewards can be beyond anything we know.

But we never know until we strike the match.

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