This past year, with the unveiling of the Webb telescope and the prospects of returning missions to the Moon, I've been thinking a lot about space. In 2019, I wrote a musical for young audiences about a cat who travels through the solar system in a rocket ship made from empty tuna cans. It was fun watching the young kids' eyes light up when the actors portraying the different planets introduced themselves and sang about themselves and their place in our solar system.
While researching the different planets for the show, I was struck by each planet's unique visual beauty. So, I decided to create a series of abstract works using a photo collage of textures from my library of past photos and adding some graphic elements to capture my impressions of each planet - plus Pluto. I never felt it should have been downgraded to a planetoid. The result was a colorful series of shapes and textures representing views of the planets from their surface, from above, and from a distance.
I often joke with people about the wide variety of work that I do. I've been lucky in my life to be successful in both the visual and performing arts. But the more I speak with artists, the more I realize that it's not unusual for creative people to utilize more than one (or five) ways to express themselves or their vision. Sometimes it's a wonderful challenge to use different mediums to express the same thought or emotion. Each medium has its own advantages and limitations but also touches the viewer or audience in different ways.
For better or worse, creative people never stop trying to find a new way to say what they feel compelled to communicate. It can be exhausting for the people around them and sometimes frustrating for the artist. But the truth is, they draw breath from the act of creating something and the hope that their creations inspire others.