Dear Plein Air Painters of New Mexico Artists and Appreciators,
My monkey mind, a gift and a curse…
As we sit on the cusp of a waning 2020 the old adage of wiping the slate clean comes to mind. A new year and a new clean slate. The thought of getting the erasers out and eliminating the marked out, marked over, changed and forgotten ambitions of the year. That’s a lot of cleaning, a real chore, a dusty mess…
Then I thought of a show I just finished watching, The Queens Gambit. I thought about Beth Harmon, the lead character and the sequence of events, completely out of her purview, that led her to being placed into an orphanage as a young child. Then, how a chore, cleaning erasers in the basement of the nunnery, led her to her life’s calling of playing chess.
I’m reminded of the lesson here. Of all the difficulties 2020 has presented, I have watched folks deal with the chaos and unknowing, the solitude, inconvenience, sadness, boredom (the list is endless) in so many dichotomous ways. What instills my hope in humanity are the ones that chose to rise. People that developed flexibility, forged new trails, or simply set out to conquer something in their life.
Nietzsche said, “one must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.” Difficulty boils our own internal chaos to the top. It can manifest into destruction or beauty.
I’m so proud of PAPNM and how you guys, artists, the board and everyone, have kept the candle of creativity lit. From our first board meeting in January full of amazing intentions to organize paintouts, mentorship programs and shows, to suddenly becoming an online organization and doing our best to bring as much as we could to you within the the parameters set outside of our purview as an organization.
Although I would have taken the beginning aspirations and plans formed in January over the eventual history of the past 364 days, we have moved forward as an organization. For that, I am incredibly proud.
One of the most gratifying parts of my interpretation of my job as President, has been to write to you. So many of you have written lovely responses to me at how I tapped in to something you were feeling, experiencing, something helpful or hopeful. It has been a privilege to do that. That was part of creating a dancing star from the chaos for me. I have enjoyed it so much in fact, that I plan to begin my blog on my website again. My writing fuels my painting among other things and this year has taught me to seek fuel in equal parts to the fuel I spend.
I want to thank each and every one of you that touched in to PAPNM this year. Every active and passive way you participate is fuel for this organization. The lifeblood of it. I encourage you to get more involved as plans are laid for this next year, somehow already at our doorstep. Please let us know if you have a desire to help with an event or perhaps consider a board position for 2022. It’s never too early to make plans.
Mark up your calendar as if everything you put down will be able to move forward, but in your heart, hold the flexibility to adapt to change. Your discovery may lay beneath the feet of your upended plans.
With Sincere Gratitude,