She has seen the sublime but is grounded here on earth.

She has seen the sublime but is grounded here on earth.

Barbara S., age 74

During work life, most of us are restricted to a nearsightedness, focused on the car in front of us on an overcrowded road, a kitchen counter, or on a lit screen, preventing an evolutionary gaze over a great distance—except for a usually all-too-short vacation. Things we touch are limited to manufactured items, much of it plastic. We’ve lost touch with ourselves. There was an advantage in my career flying over much of the globe. There were no marked boundaries unless they followed a landform. Retirement has given me that change of perspective.

I spent most of my adult life in a cockpit—an early obsession. The structure and routine were a good life experience. Early in my aviation career, a retired pilot offered me his advice: “Kid, look back at what you loved before you became a pilot and start building a bridge to that now, work toward that.” It was good advice. I looked back and found it in my pre-teen years; it was art, painting before Sky King had an influence. 

I find that some habits from all those flying years are still being used. Instead of needing the accuracy of plotting a course and reporting waypoints over the ocean, I put my attention into the limitless arena between my brain and my brush-holding hand.   
An art mentor once told me, “No one will die in your studio if you omit the details.” Liberating words! For me, non-objective painting has been a heady surge into the unknown. Like landing a jet, you learn to let process and practice take over—muscle memory.  All I learned about art in the intervening years simply unfolds in front of me at my easel. There is a calmness, a clarity, or it could be my BP meds.

You ask: Feeling Our Age? I don’t know, I have never grown up.