Ultimately, it doesn’t matter to the world if you paint or dance or write. The world can probably get by without the product of your efforts. But that is not the point. The point is what the inner process of following your creative impulses will do, to you. It is clearly about process. Love the work, love the process. our fascination will pull our attention forward.
Ian Roberts, Creative Authenticity
I could not agree more strongly with Mr. Roberts on this point. I get far more joy in the studio, in the midst of a painting in progress, than I do sitting back looking at it on display, or sitting in a festival booth, waiting to find out if patrons like the work or not. The joy is in the doing.
Today, I took my Art History classes through the legacy of Andrew Wyeth and his drybrush watercolor studies from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. And the whole time we looked at and discussed his work, all I wanted was to be in this Cave proceeding with my latest “mad” experiment. But alas, I had a list longer than my arm, of details I had to chase down after school, and heavy lesson plans for tomorrow’s class load, and couldn’t get into the studio for nearly five hours since the close of my last class. It was total despair.
Finally, I got to get in a few strokes, working only on the coffee can and the left border of the composition. The door frame will be white, so I had to lay in a left-hand darkened border. I’m already wishing I could remove the masquing and take a peek at what is happening, but that cannot happen for a long time still. My only anxiety now is to get this looking the way I really like it, only to find a disaster when the masquing comes off. But . . . I cannot think of that right now.
I am still a little tired from Saturday and Sunday’s output, but really feared that if I took a little time off to rest, that I would find myself already into the next weekend, that a day off would turn into a week off, and the momentum would have stalled. Several years back, I attended a workshop led by J. Jason Horejs, owner of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. He had just flown into DFW airport and was holding a session at an area hotel in Dallas. The session, for me, turned out to be life changing. The only question he had for the artists assembled that day was “How prolific are you?” I sat there in shame, realizing that I had used my full-time job as an excuse for turning out an average of ten watercolors a year. I left that class, determined by year’s end to have at least thirty completed. I completed nearly a hundred, and have completed at least a hundred a year since then, though many of them are small watercolor “sketches” or “vignettes”, I nevertheless can say for the first time in my life that I am “prolific” as an artist, and thanks to the blog, feel a compulsion to keep cranking them out. So many good things have happened as a result, but the greatest is that I have rediscovered a joy in the learning process that I had not known for years.
Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.
Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”
Thanks for reading.
I paint in order to remember.
I journal because I am alone.
I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.