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Seachange

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Early talent often dominates identity.

I must have been five when I drew a profile on an etch-a-sketch and discovered the delight this odd little knack produced in the people around me. I first drew to impress; I continued to draw because it gave me joy. Yet I was confused, and my art, being ultimately autobiographical, was confused.

Crisis inevitably flooded my life and spilt into my studio. While earning my Master’s degree at Yale, the stark revelation that I felt valuable to God and others only because of my talent was a truth too difficult to avoid any longer. So I gave up, let go… and it all unraveled. At the end of the undoing, God waited patiently. Secure for the first time in unconditional love, I asked nightmare questions: Should I do art any longer? What should it be about? So I spent time studying God with the same focus and fascination I experienced in the studio. He absorbed me more then any painting ever had, and I was willing for the first time to risk it all, to be misunderstood and unimpressive because I was fastened securely in Divine love, what could any man’s opinion do to me?

And so I thrashed about in my studio, contending with the task of interpreting colossal concepts like eternity, free-will, chaos and order with laughably insufficient tools… with pens, plastic, paper, scissors. In the thrall and fear of it all, I found myself traveling far, making progress till I was able to describe my work thus: I use lines, only lines. Steered by simple rules, these lines are given the opportunity to accumulate and, given time, strange, intricate articulations begin to take shape. I use rules to see if there can still be surprise in the midst of structure, hoping that basic imitation of such mysterious processes can infuse a kind of intuitive understanding of their ways. Choosing the most basic, childish parts, I assemble them in the most basic, childish ways. It’s embarrassing really. But in the end, somehow I write deliberate, accidental symphonies…scribbled one ordinary note at a time.

posted by linnea
4:54 PM

10 Comments:

Blogger Tk said...

:)

3:57 PM  
Blogger Anna Joy said...

deliberate, accidental symphonies indeeeed. I am glad to know you my friend.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Jacob S. Heiss said...

Linnéa, I'm beginning to miss you already! Have a great time in London, and please keep me posted on life in the Sunflower State as often as you fancy. Ha det så bra...

7:57 PM  
Blogger ♥briANNA said...

I was faced with the same question of value when I was going through the D.I. last year. It took me a while to a. find the answer to my painful question, and then b. accept it: accept the strange notion that maybe God would still love me if I was blind and unable to play with colors and designs; if I was deaf and unable to sing. It made me cry. A lot. Hehe.

It's just funny, how as secure as I thought I was, at the end of the day, I didn't really know or understand my value.

I'm valuable because I'm loved. Weird.

6:44 PM  
Blogger jenelle said...

your thrashing about and accidental deliberate symphonies are good for the universe. as soon as I figure out how to make straight-money for visual artists the way iTunes does for musical ones, you'll be the first on the lineup.

8:24 PM  
Blogger ♥briANNA said...

Grrrrrrrl, you need to update! :sassy snap, snap!:

10:14 PM  
Blogger Jacob said...

Ditto!

9:30 AM  
Blogger Brian Heasley said...

cool post

6:59 AM  
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11:46 PM  

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