Spring in Oregon brings many gorgeous shades of green, and I may have seen them all this morning on my winding drive down Highway 38, which follows the mighty Umpqua River to the ocean. I was invited to Reedsport to give an Art-Write workshop. I’d never traveled this highway before, and just when I thought I couldn’t mutter, “Man, this is beautiful,” one more time, I came around a bend in the road and saw a perfect rainbow arched over the river. As I rounded another bend, the rainbow stretched across the road. I chased the rainbow for a few minutes as it hovered about 20 feet from the windshield. Light shifted. As far as this is possible, I drove under a rainbow.
Ten artists attended my workshop and we had a good repartee. One artist owned the local Mindpower Gallery. She told me she has plenty of artists, she just has to coax them out of the woods for a show. On the way home I drove up the coast and stopped at the Tsunami Gallery, owned by a bronze sculptor. The building sits alongside the highway in Gardiner, Oregon, a town so small that on some days, the owner told me, even he is not sure it exists. Further north I stopped in Florence. I asked a woman working in a clothing shop if she knew who in town might host an Art-Write workshop, and she directed me to the artist co-op down the street. She paints in oils and showed me photos of her work.
Today it seemed like art lives everywhere. Forest, coast, city, around the globe – it lives!
Our main task as artists is to keep our art alive. We are brave that way, stupid that way, stubborn that way. We push on, despite distraction, obligation, instability and insecurity. We push on.
Or maybe it’s art itself that pushes on, through us, the prisms.
(When you drive under a rainbow, it’s impossible to let go of the metaphor.)