As I was putting together another email announcement of a show the other day I was thinking about how, depending on my feeling about my work at the time, this process can be easy or rather hard. I am not sure if most everyone understands that part of the process of making things, creating things is not really knowing sometimes where you are going. This is how it is for me. It helps to look over your shoulder at what you have made to give yourself direction but really it isn’t so important what was made in the past but rather what is being made presently. So how honestly can one be doggedly extolling the virtues of what you’re doing all the time even though part of the time you aren’t entirely sure? I have come to accept that you need to be lost sometimes if you are to change, to breakthrough, to improve. In fact out this struggle sometimes comes my best work. It seems to me to be somewhat of a deception to be constantly putting out the message that you have arrived when actually you got off at the wrong station and are just simply lost. I never want to admit it. I will be painting furiously for several hours and even though I do know a tremendous amount about what I am doing, I can get to a point where I can look at my painting that’s as big as me- (over 6 ft) and realize that I actually have no clear sense of what I have just done. It hits me so hard that I sometimes just have to sit down and stare at the ridiculous amount of intention, the sheer effort it took to wind up here, in a place that seems foreign and unfamiliar. Humbling is an understatement. It’s one of the great aspects of doing art that no two efforts are the same. Each comes with a new challenge, a new problem to solve. Sometimes it falls into place other times not. On a day when it doesn’t it is a difficult time to self promote. It’s challenging to encourage collectors to come to your upcoming show or to talk to a gallery about raising your prices. And actually, I don’t think we are hard wired to endlessly go on about ourselves and things we have done in the past. I tell my students that the hat of the promoter has nothing at all to do with your art, that it is a second kind of side business that is there only to insure the viability of the first. So it’s a challenge, I feel, that surely plagues many creative people but curiously it is rarely spoken about. I guess admitting unsure ness, hesitation runs counter to the assurance and brilliance we are all trying so desperately hard to convey.
the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.