I just got back from my husband’s family reunion at the home of one of his brothers, in Minnesota. It was in a truly beautiful small town in Minnesota: 10,000 people and five lakes.
But when I got home, I also realized anew how much I am a city girl.
That’s not because I think the city is better than other places. I totally understand why it’s not a good fit for many people: too busy, too crowded, too dirty, too scary. Too expensive! But this city is a perfect fit for me.
Since I started reworking my bio for my new website, some themes in my artwork that I was already aware of have become more clear. And some themes in my life have become more clear too.
For example, some people like seeing trees. I like seeing strangers.
Don’t get me wrong: I love trees, too. And the ocean (one of the more traditional reasons I love this city). But I also love riding the bus. Seriously.
I love it because I really like connecting with different kinds of people. That same engine has driven my choice to work with, and have close relationships with, people from many different countries, all the major religions (and many minor ones), and from widely different socioeconomic backgrounds.
So what is behind this constant running toward difference?
It’s because I am totally and completely in love with surprising connections between people.
And whatever I’m doing artistically, the connection between people is what I’m always trying to explore or get across, whether that’s because I’m creating people who connect with you in my Character series;
or literally connecting people in surprising ways, like with Fear Not
or attempting to depict my sense of our constant underlying, invisible connection, as with my Commence series.
What’s that T.S. Eliot quote?
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
I feel like I am knowing this place, my place, maybe not for the first time, but definitely in a new way. And I now understand better why this is my place. Even amid all the chaos.