I’d rather be painting

Indigo Girls at Park West in Chicago, Septembe...

Indigo Girls at Park West in Chicago, September 18, 2005. (left to right: Amy Ray and Emily Saliers) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Indigo Girls were on “Q” the other day. They’ve been making music together for more than twenty-five years. In that business, apparently that’s a long time for a group to stay together. I guess because I work alone, that thought seems strange. I’ve been at it for twice that long and I can’t imagine stopping. That would, indeed, be breaking up with myself.

What struck me listening to them talk was when one of them said she considers herself a workaholic, loves her work, but thinks she works so hard because she is afraid of death. I consider myself a workaholic as well. I love me work, I love to work hard, and if I am not working for any length of time, I am not a happy person. But I also know how to play hard. And actually, my work often feels like play.  Sometimes I question that: if it is play, what does it mean.  But these thoughts don’t stop me from painting.  I just keep going.

As I come closer to the inevitable death, I feel even more urgency to work, to produce something worthwhile. If my work is, after all, play, then it still needs to be meaningful, have an effect. As far as I am concerned, non-verbal communication, which is what I do in my paintings, is a major part of being alive. It’s how I sing.


About leyaevelyn

About thirty years ago, I moved from New York City to rural Nova Scotia. For an artist, it is a good place to live. Spacious and quiet. Despite the beautiful scenery and frequently grey skies, my abstract paintings focus on color, its expressive qualities and how it creates form and space.
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