Today is Drawing Day 2009, and it’s an appropriate kick-start for me.
I spent far too much of the past year working on other people’s goals and neglecting my art.
Oh, I have no one to blame for that. I made some poor choices. A harsh wake-up call made me pause and check the credentials (and track records) of the people I was working with. That was an even more harsh discovery.
I went through several weeks of being very angry. I hated my art from that time, so I cut it up for a personal installation. (The pieces are gorgeous, out of the original context. Suddenly, the art is about color! Those pieces will become part of very different art.)
Then, I needed a few weeks of hasty damage control. Until the facts are more widely known, there’s only so much that I can do. But, I also don’t want to invest more energy in… well, a disappointment. (I mean, what’s the point? I was one in a series of gullible people. )
I’ve decided to retain my naivete, despite the obvious risks. I think that my sense of wonder is a large part of what makes me an artist.
Among my favorite quotes, “The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world.” (G. K. Chesterton said that, and many other inspiring things.)
So, I will continue to be an idealist. It’s part of who I am. I don’t claim to be a great artist, but I like this: “No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” Oscar Wilde said that.
I think that’s germane to what I’m realizing: When I’m immersed in “real” life, I seem to stop making art. When I pursue art for its own merit, the world seems endlessly beautiful to me, and I express it in my paintings, my art journals, and my fabric art.
The paintings I’ve started in the past couple of weeks… they’re totally different. They’re wonderful. They draw a little on the my Bush Park painting (on my homepage, as I write this). I think I’m heading towards more lyrical art… less literal.
I wish this past year’s lesson had been more quickly learned, but this is all part of life’s journey! As Tammy Faye Bakker once said, “You cannot go forward looking in the rear-view mirror of your life.”
Anyway, I’m restoring this website now. It’s one of many projects that I started but didn’t have enough time for, this past year.
The drawing at the upper right corner of this post shows the computer in my studio. I sketched it this morning — as a contour drawing — while I was waiting for my computer to boot up.
I’ll be posting fresh art in the upcoming week.