Laura Lagomarsino: A Clothesline of Words, Ideas, and Pictures

I love words, to paint them, to write them, they flow to me as stories and visions and layers.  Images live with me this way as well.  The visual aspect is first, and stronger.  Words somehow intertwine themselves therein, within, like a frame somehow, or a clothesline, supporting what I’ve already seen.  These things, images, words live in different “me’s” ~ the waking ones, the wide awake one, the sleeping dreaming one, the daydreaming me watching images dance in the sun.  And one thing leads to another, and this is how I live.  One creative thought, one story, one image after another making their way from their starting place to their ending place.  And the space in between the beginning and the end is where they hang on the clothesline, patiently, until it is their time.  The clothesline of life, of my mind, of my imagination.

Tiny San Francisco studio apartments are very conducive to this incubating clothesline.  Because there is no choice, there is no space.  The drifting to sleep space is the same as the waking to morning space which is the same as the birthing of project space….dreams waft into waking thoughts which find themselves in cuttings and shapes and patterns, papers, drawings, smiles, sun, naps, more thoughts, more doodles.  All the while the clothesline remains, the current project absorbing all around it, the studio scattered with remnants, twigs, pieces parts, scraps, each piece on the clothesline embracing its cousins, the next potentialities, befriending them, watching them fondly as one of them realizes form, the others waiting gently while they drift and dream and waft and sleep and watch.

And the clothesline is built upon chance.  And chance is enhanced by repetition of subtleties, of nuances, of moments, of giggles of recognition as seemingly unrelated events and characters refer to one another in a nod of coincidence.  This is what creativity means to me, being totally open to these things.  Something shows itself to me by chance, it finds its way to the clothesline by a series of wonderments.  Wonderments know when they need to be born, and they tell me so.  Like walking along a crowded street, all the passersby coming and going, conversations blending into traffic sounds, smells, colors, combining to form an overall feeling of the day ~~ ah, but one image, one person, one thought, an idea sticks, stays, you tear it out of a magazine, or you scribble it down on a napkin ~ it stays — Clothesline.  
Laura Lagomarsino can be reached through her website, http://www.lauralagomarsino.com/
More to read, including a link to one of Laura’s original stories, behind this link:


And sometimes these images or thoughts or ideas hang on the clothesline for years.  Such was the case with the Fennec Fox.  I first saw him about two years ago, and as is the case with many of these ideas and images, I can’t even remember the exact how or when or why, but it just was.  I saw an image of this long-eared nocturnal little creature, and was very drawn to him.  His cuteness, his ears, there was just something about him.  I printed a photo of him and tacked it on the wall, the clothesline.  I knew he’d eventually be in a story, I felt it deeply, as is always the case with the “ones that stick”.  I was not worried at all about the story itself, knowing it would unfold to me when it was meant to.  He peeked at me for many many months, in between days, weeks, changes, moves, other ideas, scraps, piles.

Fast forward to the present, to my new city, San Francisco.  Having recently relocated here from North Carolina, I was finding my way early this year, some almost-3000 miles away.   On a day trip to a small town in Marin County, a randomly scheduled group excursion to take photos to paint, I was walking alone away from the group and happily snapping photos when I spotted out of the corner of my eye a young woman in her twenties or so, long dreadlocks, a free spirit for sure, and she had some little creature in her backpack, its tail poking out was so unusual, I thought it was a squirrel.  I asked her if I could see her animal, and she sweetly agreed.  You got it ~ a Fennec Fox!  In my move from NC to SF I’d boxed up my clothesline, to rearrange and start anew here, and couldn’t believe my eyes, Yes, here was the little creature I’d seen years before, now telling me he’s ready to be born, now welcoming me to my new home, the randomness of the coincidence affirming to me that I was, in fact, home.  For weeks afterward, I smiled inside remembering my little friend and how he felt to hold, how funny he was when he dashed away from us when a truck passing by had startled him, how his owner told me of his mischievous personality, and all these thoughts and musings stayed with me until the time came to let the words flow.  And as is the case with clothesline pieces when they are born, boy did the words flow, they came from somewhere other than me, and flowed through my hand onto the paper, the story in its entirety downloading onto the paper from my psyche.  
Here’s a link to Laura’s Fennec Fox story: http://ljlago.com/gonzo.html
My creative life has been like this for a very long time now.  I can look back at my artwork and follow the threads, the story lines, the characters on the clotheslines, various ones in various places.  And so now this is the beginning of a new chapter in a creative life, the pages so lovely and crisp want to be turned, read, written, lived.  More stories, more words, more images, more books will walk to me, or fly to me, or swim to me.  I will hear them, see them, paint them, write them.  

With a creative life, each piece, each word, each image is created from two places; the first being the need to come out, that compulsion to get the story out, or the painting painted.  This fills the artist’s spirit.  The second place is the one we can’t completely acknowledge lest the muse see she’s being watched.  It is the place where the viewer or reader, then, takes pleasure in what has been created, such a person then, themselves, taking a little nugget for their very own clothesline.  And so the flow continues…..

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