Tag Archives: purpose

the barron

StoreyTalk_web[with Barron in L.A. at the Bert Green Gallery]

I don’t think that there is an artist who has inspired me more than Barron Storey. I am not alone in this.

There isn’t much that I envy of others, except, perhaps, to have been in one of his classrooms while he was teaching at The California College of the Arts. I am a public college fine art school drop out.

Too late now, I’m afraid, for all of that. I’m self-taught, mostly, and it’s through practice that I’ve become remotely proficient. Through much trial and failure. I suppose that could be said of most anything, in my case – lots of trials; lots of failures.

BarronSig_web[inscription in my Life After Black book, images excerpted from his visual journals]

In the midst of all of those, though, are the wild successes. Things that I’ve made that I can hardly believe came from my hands. Pieces I’ve written that I barely recognize as having been borne of my mind. But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

I think artists (ALL artists… writers, painters, actors, circus performers, musicians, sculptors, mimes, burlesque dancers, opera singers…) are speaking their truths, expressing what society so desperately needs to hear but seldom voices.

That is our purpose.


finding purpose… or the search for the holy grail

Recently we had a rather lively conversation in our little artist group Salon about preferred mediums, the nature of titles (artist or not, etc.) and purpose (as in the “what is my purpose?” question). So I’ll share here some of what I wrote there, because I’m sure that we creative types all process these questions over time.

I’ve called myself, on and off, both a writer and an artist, but they’ve always felt like unvalidated terms, because I’m not thriving in either area, though I would like to be.

Sometimes I wonder why we (humans, I mean) feel compelled to categorize ourselves. There is joy in the making and the doing, and so I’m not sure whether calling oneself one or the other really is what makes it so, and why it should matter to anyone else but ourselves.

We are so much more than one or two words.

I am a maker of wonderful chocolate chip cookies, with butter and semi-sweet chips.
I am a great sorter and hoarder of condiments.
I am the creator of wonderful hugs.
I am the holder of space for people in which they can safely express.
I am the keeper of an open heart.
I am the seeker of tins of rolled caper studded anchovies in oil (why can’t I find these anymore?).
I am a teller of stories, in words and pictures.

I’ve been pondering on direction since being let go from my last job. Clearly I need to make a decent living, but HOW do I choose to make a living? Do I go about it in the same way that I have up until now? I don’t know… I’m still thinking on that one.

The ephemeral question has always been “what is my purpose” (which is also one of the questions that has come up during the 30 Day Journaling Project).

I find it stigmatizing, this question. We are all here to be here and show up as our unique selves, in whichever way we grow into ourselves throughout the course of our lives. Our search for ultimate meaning seems to take away from the meaning of our journey. Every person whose lives we touch finds meaning in our presence (and vice-versa).

I’ve struggled with that question for time immemorial. Seriously… I’d BORE my early twenty something peers with the question. It’s always been a sort of quest, and feeling like Percival in his search for the Holy Grail, not seeming to ask the right questions. I think maybe it’s that we don’t need to know. Maybe we just need to live.

And this circles back around to being an artist and/or a writer. I have felt compelled to do both since I was a little kid. It is how I express myself in the world, or rather, my inner world outwardly. And some may or may not like or appreciate how I do that, but that’s not for me to worry about.

Somehow, I believe, we are all our own masterpieces.


Do you ever get the feeling that greatness is in your periphery, but as soon as you move your head to gaze at it directly, it shifts again, there, but only just out of reach? I get this feeling often, particularly when I try to pin down my ‘purpose.’

As with most, I have many purposes–to raise a child, to earn a living, to fulfill the role of wife and mother, but what I’m talking about is that THING that I was created and put here to do.

That purpose. That thing. If I could only pin it down, life would go much more smoothly. At least I’d know what to pay attention to… what to foster… what to focus on. Besides all of the other things.