Today's Epiphany....

 I had an epiphany recently. Well.... another epiphany anyway. 

I have issues. Who doesn't? I have many addictions. Thankfully, mine are all socially acceptable. I'm addicted to art, reading, writing, creating, cooking, learning, snuggling. Oh... and names. Seriously. I could joke that is why I have six children. But trust me... there were more names for that list too. LOL. I name all of my mixed media portraits too. And.... it seems each collection needs a name. And, it's time to confess that I own more domain names than I would EVER be able to sustain businesses for in one lifetime. 

I have all these ideas! 

I have tried to reinvent myself more times than I can remember. But a recent scenario made me come face to face with myself. I was seriously considering a legal name change. Nothing wrong with that. And I may still use that name as a pen name. But... I had to ask myself some questions. Linda.... you keep reinventing your creative identity, but you have never played one out to it's fulfillment. Why? Are you trying to become something you're not? Or are you trying to run from something you don't believe you are? 


For one second, let's talk style. Every artist needs one, right? I am 56 years old and have been creating for more than 50 of those. I've been a professional artist for more than 20 years. I taught art. And still... my interests and passions flitter in and out like the wind. I LOVE black and white. I love stark, gritty, industrial. I LOVE abstract with brilliant deep colors. I LOVE neutrals. I love faces. I LOVE innocence and whimsy. I LOVE dark and rebellious. I LOVE nature, flowers, trees, landscapes. I LOVE industrial, historic, decay. 


I have often heard successful artists say, "Paint what you love".  Seriously? I love it all. But ironically, what I display in my own home is not typically what I am drawn to creating. My house is mostly neutrals. The few pieces of art are more sentimental keepers. I LOVE photography!!! The photos are memories of places we've adventured and people we love. Those are precious to me, and I want them around me always. 

So.... what's the epiphany? 

As I was pondering this.... AKA... beating myself up and thinking I should just accept that I'm not a true artist because I don't have one focused style... I was trying to force a choice. I bought yet another domain name and started working on a site. Then.... I thought about my graphic ragamuffins, whom I could never EVER leave behind. And I saw some motivational words of wisdom that made me think of my core self, and my many, MANY facets. I had to take a deep breath and accept a reality. I am a Gemini. I have run from that for a long time, but that's a story for another day.  Being a Gemini is both a tremendous gift and a paralyzing explosion of possibilities that never take shape.  I wake up deciding to focus on my  art, and am writing "another" new novel by the time I go to bed.  I decide to focus on writing, and end up inspired with a new art series. And then.... I decide my kids need me to focus on making pancakes and creating a home that nurtures their dreams. Enough focus on me. 


It gets worse as you get older. You can be the most positive minded person on earth, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that you're running out of tomorrows to make your dreams come true.  

With that sobering thought, I sought out the domain "gemini art". LOL.  Thank God, it was not available. That was the moment when I realized I had a bit more of a serious problem with my addiction to domain names than I had previously recognized. I deleted a few. It's a start. I do have a few collaborative projects with my husband and son. Those are fine. Why are the others difficult to let go of? They've been around for so long, they're parts of me. They're dreams.... mostly unrealized. Letting go will be admitting failure, right? 

God, no. 

Letting go, will be embracing me. Embracing me, will let ALL OF THEM in because they are a part of me. I tried to separate them all. Graphites needed their own business. Abstracts needed theirs. Figures needed theirs. Etc. Nope. They're all me. They're just waiting for me to come home and be me without worrying what anyone else thinks. 

I've been thinking a lot about something Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book, Big Magic. She says to stop trying to be original. It doesn't exist. There's nothing new under the sun. Everything that will ever exist already does in some way, and all we are doing is reinventing wheels, telling the same stories with a different order of words, painting the same art with the brush in our own hand.  She says it's not "originality" we should be on the quest to find; but authenticity.  BINGO. 

I cannot create an identity to express the art I love making today, because it will be different tomorrow. I am not my art. My art is from me. It's all me. And I don't have to name it. I already have a name. 

And back to that somber reminder that statistically, I have more yesterdays behind me than tomorrows ahead of me, it's time to stop reinventing. Time to stop worrying. Time to stop doubting. Time to stop defining, labeling, or naming. It's just time to create whatever wants to be created today. Today.  TODAY. I am me. And me is a lot. I'm not going to fight it anymore. I love the creative explosion of a human I am.  I have  struggled with two philosophies.... "why choose?" and "successful people are decisive".  I look at my life and see that a plethora of "why choose?" has left me greatly unsuccessful.  But... I'm a Gemini! And an artist! So, I'm making a choice. I must focus. I must choose me. I must choose art. I must work hard. But I won't choose a style because I would be denying a part of me that needs to be free to visit, even if rarely. I am hoping that making that choice to prioritize my creative work will help everything else work itself out. 

Long story, short.... I've spent a few decades in pursuit of my "style" while denying myself. Makes sense, right?  No more. I'm pouring me into my work without worrying about the end result. 

Feels a little weird to have a new start without a new name. Feels good. I've been painting over old paintings and priming a few new canvases this past week. I'm excited and scared to death. And oddly, at peace. Here we go!