I had the pleasure of visiting with an artist who was living in a rustic cabin on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park. Her name is Sam.
She shared the details of an online art class she was taking. The course required her to use the same subject or object for each assignment, incorporating the various techniques of each lesson onto the subject. Her choice was the bow of a boat.
As we looked at her last two assignments and she explained the colors, lines, and process she went through, I witnessed her passion and love for her creative work.
Her body swayed, and her hands circularly flowed as she gazed at her paintings and spoke. I could see her emotion and feel her spiritual connection to the composition. At one point, tears surfaced as she gave history to her connections to the bow of boats.
Totally encompassed in her work, I was just as overtaken by her intense emotional connection to an inanimate object and to her ability to caress it into life. All at once I understood why an artist’s creation could speak to me so strongly; I too feel the emotion from what I view on a canvas.
She explained how the thin sides of a boat, especially when the boat is small, and she is quite close to the water, is all there is between life and death, safety and fear, known and unknown. As I listened to her, my interpretation was between staying anchored – hammered down, or flying away; confined or free. We were looking at the same picture, both feeling intense emot
ions, but for different reasons.
She compared the thin sides of the boat to our skin; what holds us together. The bow of a vessel was powerful and impactful for her and consequently for me.
A boat will never carry the same meaning.
My dad was a fisherman. Once, he constructed a fishing boat from scratch, and as Sam spoke, I thought of him and wondered if his boats also represented protection, possibilities, and wisdom. I thought he couldn’t afford to buy a new readymade boat, but today I imagine he caressed his love for an inanimate object into life, just as Sam did.
Thank you, Sam, for an enlightening, serendipitous, and intimate exchange. Priceless!
Until the next time: Live while you live!