Today is Day 8 of the Art Apple A Day Retrospective – for information on the project click here.
Day Eight – October 8, 2010
Looking back 10 years ago today…
I was on vacation and apple making was getting tricky. I almost chucked the whole plan on the first day of the second week. This was the third time in 8 days I had almost quit before I had really gotten started. I was barely 2% done so if I was going to quit, now was the time. I could make some excuse! I could blame my health – that thought did occur to me and it seriously pissed me off. But… it was causing strain and I could see that it would only build. It was the end of the day and I was in Maine with my family and I wanted to visit and drink a glass of wine. I didn’t want to create. And I was again completely blank.
Our dear family friend Elizabeth was there and she and my folks along with Doug via the phone encouraged me to do something in 5 minutes.
“Do something, anything!” they cried, “Just see what you can do in 5 minutes and then decide.”
They were very devious. They knew what I did not. They knew I could create something beautiful even if extremely simple. And, they were right. And so… the project continued with this apple I called, “Spiraling Out Of Control” because that is truly where I was. The good news is that after this apple I started to hit a groove and the inspiration and ideas started coming a bit easier for a stretch which was a huge relief. The creative blocks would continue periodically but this apple gave me courage and faith that I could always come up with something!
To see my original eighth post from 10 years ago click here or on the image above.
And the story will continue tomorrow!
Shifting to today in 2020 I wanted to share some thoughts on creativity and chronic illness. I find being creative is a muscle that needs to be worked to be in good shape and the year I created my apples was very eye opening for me in this regard. The artists I most admire are constantly creating and even though I had my BFA I never really understood this – it wasn’t something we discussed in art school. The past year and a half after spending a few years as a Real Estate broker I once again found myself having to reevaluate my life because the strain of 24/7/365 of that career was too much. I wondered why I had turned away from my art (I know the answer now and you will find out by the end of this retrospective) but I had taken my life once again away from this gift. Once I realized that I was feeling the urge to be creative again and our studio apartment was vacant – I decided to throw myself back into it full time.
THIS time I knew that I had to create and create and create. My year of apples was about making all those art pieces look as different as possible – to add interest to the project and hope people would be tuning in to see what I had created next.
THIS time my goal was to find ME. Just me. I had never worked to find my style, my way and what it really requires is basically a full year of constant creativity. Many of my friends have been following me this past year as I post to my Instagram and Facebook and lo and behold – after almost exactly a year – I showed up! Now I feel so confident that my art speaks my soul and if you see my current work you know it’s a Jennifer Visscher! Part of the reason I could take this next year to look back at the apples is because it comes with the clarity of where I am today, both creatively and frankly, spiritually. That has evolved leaps and bounds over the past couple of years and turning 50 last year also contributed.
If there is something you wish to accomplish – give yourself a year. It’s amazing what can happen when you dedicate yourself to something for that period of time and please, don’t let Ankylosing Spondylitis or anything else stop you. xO