Friday, September 14, 2007

Invoking the Muse?

A couple of weeks ago, I watched I'm Your Man, a 2005 documentary about Leonard Cohen by documentary filmmaker Lian Lunson.
I've been a Leonard Cohen fan since I was a kid, when moved by a fit of adolescent emoting, I wrote the lyrics to his song
Suzanne on my bedroom wall. Fast forward some 35 years later, and I'm still a fan, though no longer scribbling on my walls; I paint on panels now.

While watching this beautifully produced film, I was amazed at the wide range of emotional/intellectual responses I had to the performances, the interviews, the poetry being read/spoken, and the storytelling. Pretty intense, with many moments of the film still resonating for me. As I work, I continue to reflect on the poetry and music of Leonard Cohen, and I've noticed subtle changes in my painting process. Letting things happen more instead of making them happen. Paying more attention to the inner places I am allowing myself more access to. Reworking some paintings that I was just sure were done until after I lived with them for a while and until after I watched I'm Your Man. More sensitivity to the nuances and subtletiesof each movement. Mindfulness.

I've not gone so far as to listen to Leonard Cohen's music or poetry while I'm working. I don't know if there is a male muse, but I am allowing memories of certain moments in the film to take up residence. So, time will tell if I have indeed invoked the muse...whoever that might be.

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