Living on the Edge

I think fear is what keeps us from going over the edge. I mean, as a race car driver, I don’t think what makes a good race car driver is a fearless person. I think it’s somebody that is comfortable being behind the wheel of something that’s somewhat out of control.” -Jeff Gordon

Oh, I’d like to think I’m edgy, push boundaries or buck the status quo.  I got game.

But let’s get real:  I live with my sweet mother - in East Texas.   I haven’t been out in public after 11:00 pm in years.  I buy my shoes at PayLess because the price of women’s shoes pisses me off.  I watch HGTV if I ever have control of the remote and I know nothing about zombies or the apocalypse.  I refuse to get in political or religious debates on Facebook and I don’t have a tattoo.

My art is about as edgy as a Thomas Kinkade calendar.  (No offense meant, Mr. Kinkade.)

So how does a person like me live on the edge, other than eating something spicy without Prilosec? 

The short answer is by doing my art at all.

When we participate in the creative process, we are on the leading edge of creation.  Doing whatever your art is brings into the world what was not there before.  It acknowledges and expresses what is OUT THERE and brings it into the HERE NOW.  

Bringing a performance into being instead of not auditioning, letting the music belt out of you instead of remaining quiet, cutting out paper dolls with your kids instead of doing chores; it is the act of turning your back on the mundane that brings you ever closer to an edge experience.

The three cats I live with have an agenda for me.  They don’t care if I get a chance to work in my art journal, gesso some canvas, or have a gelli printing session.  They want me to open the door and let them out or open the door to let them in.  Repeat ad nauseum times three. They can find no better place to walk than in wet paint or no place better to take a nap than on my keyboard when I am trying to write a blog post.

I don’t take it personal.  But I can’t let my love for them and my desire to be a good pet parent keep me from doing the work of my art.  Ignoring these ungrateful little darlings while I do my art can frankly be living life on the edge or at the least, make me feel edgy.

This past weekend I entered the local art guild show with three of my paintings; a first for me.  I put on makeup, carried snacks for the reception and introduced myself to people who slowed down in front of my work.  Talk about living on the edge!  (I am a card carrying introvert.  I really need to have some printed up so I could hand them out in extrovert situations.)  Putting myself and my art out there to risk judgement is paramount to jumping off a big cliff.  It was good for me and my art in so many edgy ways.

Here are the three entries:   (Thanks for asking.)

Industrial Bloom

Industrial Bloom

Take a Number

Take a Number

Fleeting Moment

Fleeting Moment

It is tempting to believe that living on the edge art-wise is only relevant if we live it as if we are  Captain Kirk.  I paraphrase his most famous statement below:

“Art, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Artship (YOUR NAME HERE). Its daily mission: to explore strange new ART, to seek out new mediums and new outcomes, to boldly go where no artist has gone before.”

Yes, it is good to push your art in directions that only people who watch Star Trek can understand, but it is also good to overcome the everyday rigors of life getting in the way of living a creative life on the edge.

How do you live life on the edge?

Cheering you artfully on,


We live at the edge of the miraculous.” -Henry Miller