Looking Beyond Myself

Though I have reached out into the world I still feel like I am confined within my small provincial town of Missoula.  I know it is time to begin thinking past myself and begin letting my idealism soar beyond who I have become here.  I need to begin to network into a larger collective of people who will challenge the way I see the world and can help me grow.  I feel like I have been stuck in the same place for a long time and it’s now time for a much broader perspective.  The things that I love about Montana and that anchor me here are also the things that hold me back.  Yes, I am on the Internet, and yes I contribute, but I feel I often stay where I feel safe, visiting the same sites in my toolbar and perhaps spend too much time on Facebook and maintaining the new site.  At the beginning of this year I spent a great deal of time looking at other artists and communicating with them. Somehow during the course of the year trying to bring it the web has consumed the later half of the year.  Some times the blog takes me twenty minutes to write and sometimes, like the one about HIV issues in my community the other day, took the entire day.  Once this blog project gets put to rest I should have more time to spend on the new site.  My vision for it is astonishing as I begin to bring in all those whose works I admire.  I would like the blog to continue, but I want the focus to now go toward others, exploring different media of art, dialogue with other artist, and writing about the history of male nude art.  It cannot be an everyday sort of thing like it has, and will allow me to spend more time to really explore the things with which I am most fascinated and intrigued.  To write something everyday and maintain it has been a major undertaking and it far more consuming then I ever thought possible.  Then to work a regular job on top of all of it, my days are just spent in the process with next to no time for myself.  But it has become a year of commitment and devotion and I thankful to have undertaken it.  I am sorry I have ignored so many fascinating people along this journey, just because I couldn’t find the time to make it all happen.  I have barely been out of the studio for almost a year now and there is a part of myself that feels it has stagnated.  I know for sure I have lived far too much in my head and not enough in my physical self and my body is now screaming out for some physical activity.  The possibilities of making money with all this doesn’t seem to occupy my thoughts as much anymore, but the focus now seems to be on doing what feels right and creating a sense of collaboration and sharing quality ideals.  This is where I actually began the process and it’s where I need continue the process.  I feel the overall integrity will outshine anything else and perhaps this is what will endure long beyond myself.  I look at the great photographers I have admired, Dorothea Lang, Diane Arbus, Paul Strand, Fred Holland Day, Minor White and Robert Mapplethorpe and I have a better understanding for their passions to create.  Part of becoming an artist is the struggle, nothing is easy, but I have always enjoyed the process and I have always struggled, and the struggle never seems to stop.  But it is the imagery of these great artists that endure and can excite us upon every viewing.  I now see I have so many friends with these gifts that I now to embrace and share.  This project, has brought too much of the focus to myself, and not enough on what surrounds me.  The path is no longer mine but that of a community.