We had the good fortune of connecting with Bryce Widom and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bryce, what inspires you?
The simple beauty of being. This morning’s snow clouds rounding over fresh-whitened foothills. The warm joy of waking with the woman I love. The delicate light of sun soft on my eyelids. The strong tides of blood through my body, the desire to sink my canines into the pulsing body of the day. How the taste of life awakens my senses, how I feel the brightness of stars inside me, and the depth of the sea, and the pull of black holes, endless nights, the howling of coyotes beyond the fire ring. The first blush of dawn. All this moves in me, as the stirring of galaxies and hot soup on a wintry day and the free laughter of my children. It touches my heart and the response is: Create. Feel deeply, subtly, madly, richly – and then express. Paint, dance, sing, whisper, love. Shine with the light that is always shining through each and all of us, through rocks and glacial rivers and magma worlds far below, through the wide emptiness of space. Through the people of this world and all worlds, celebrating and suffering and laughing and crying and loving. Shine brightly through the dark, forever.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Most days, I awake to the light of day: fresh. Mind-clean and unaware of a self or storyline, except for the fading dreamthreads trailing behind me. I chew on the worlds I just woke from, and then step into this one. Anew. And as the weave of my life tugs back together, I remember that I am an artist, with work to do. Before this, though – I wake simply, and feel the push and pull of breath through my lungs, light and dark touching my eyes and mind and heart. The simple response: receive. Allow myself to be touched by the strange miracle of being. And then, the response: to give, create, participate. Simple as the rolling in of the tides and their eventual falling back into the sea. My art isn’t conceptual – meaning simply, there is no concept behind my work. It’s not designed to stand for something greater… it stands simply for itself. I don’t make art to make a statement, to illustrate a theory, to flesh out an idea. I don’t mean for you to ask me “Ahh… but what does it mean?” It simply exists, as an expression of feeling-worlds within me. Beings, becomings, desires… animating through eyes, lips, feathers, clouds, claws, mountainslopes and seachurnings. I’ve often shamed myself in past years for what I’ve considered a lack of significance, intelligence, purpose in my work. It’s only recently that I’ve wholly let this harsh criticism go, in the realization that there are many ways to create art. (Silly slow me:) And my natural way, the way I seem to be designed – of feeling-alchemization-expression – is but one of many. No more and no less than any other. And yet it is my way, and as such – it is the way I must create, to be in integrity with myself – and the Whole I am continually emerging from. This realization is beautiful to me, as it allows for all of us to be artists – creators – in our own unique way. The squabbling between schools (“art is this” and “art isn’t that”; “life is this” and “life isn’t that”) falls to the wayside. There is a time and place for every flavor of expression, every voice. I am inspired by so many – writers, painters, dancers, social justice workers, integral thinkers, those with passion and will – and it all fuels me to find the next-deeper expression of my own feeling-experience. To spelunk into the question “Who am I now?” and allow images to pour from the dark into the daylit world. I feel I am only at the beginning of an answer… every day an unfolding into greater deeps, with hopefully just a shred more skill to apply to my work than the day prior, to express with a minute touch more grace and clarity and brightness-in-the-dark what it is to live and love as me, in this momentary sailing-star-through-the-sky life that we are each given. My work is an offering of thanks to the gift of this life, and the gratitude deepens as the brightness increases… before I eventually plunge back into the primordial sea. May we all find and feel the blessing of our individual life, and from here: receive, love, and give. This is the evolving understanding and prayer of my work. Thank you for receiving of it what you may, and for offering whatever it is that arises from the soul of you.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well… I live rather quietly, on a mountainside overlooking the Great Plains and rising sun. My home sidles up to Boulder County open space, where elk and deer run free, and the cactus are wicked-wiley, and an occasional rattlesnake plays a shaky tune. So that’s a must. I don’t spend much time in Boulder… although I’ve recently come to love a concrete ping-pong table in a certain Boulder park (if word gets out though, it’ll always be in use! so for now, I’ll keep it’s location hush-hush) and I’ve just experimented with my third playtime on a tennis court (thank you North Boulder Rec Center for offering them freely to the public). I haven’t done it yet, but – JD’s Joyrides offers a Boulder mural tour via e-bike. (One, and possibly two, of my public-facing murals are on the roster. Thanks for including me, JD.) If you do this and you’re hungry after: I recently celebrated my daughter’s first day as a teenager with a stellar tempura-fried banana split from Hapa Sushi on the (Pearl St) Mall… mmmyum. And the ramen at Chimera is delish. You can of course do all of this via take-out. Mostly, my favorite spots in the city are the ones closest to nature. Of which Boulder has plenty. Alone, or with people I love. Celebrating the Good. Maybe I’ll see you out there…

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am sincerely grateful for *every single person* who has ever laid eyes on my work… and allowed it to touch them in some way. My art-making doesn’t require an audience – but living as a working artist does. Without the thousands of people who have been moved by my work to the point of taking it home with them (or giving it as a gift), I would be laboring in the coal mines (it’s long been my extreme version of a back-up plan, if my art career were to fail). Thank you all for your support and encouragement.

Website: www.brycewidom.com
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