Thursday, April 16, 2009

You don't have to whack me over the head......

.....or maybe you do. I've spent weeks just being quiet. Working, coming home, preping meals, doing know the drill. Getting up to the the studio to prepare work for Gallery Ten in Door County--to drive up and drop off in just aweekandahalf, not so much. I've spent time avoiding the studio. My feet feeling like lead---I just couldn't climb the loooong staircase. Time spent on self loathe and flogging. Voicing like ribbons running through my head telling me I have nothing new to say, that I'm not a real artist, that I'm fooling myself and misleading everyone else. Then it hit me. Oh, I'm an artist alright....and this seems to be part of my process. It's been a pattern. I'd like to live in this ideal world when art fair season ends, I spend quiet winter months going up to my studio and work...yes, I do. By spring my inventory from winter months is overflowing. I stretch and say I am ready for art fair season again. Wow, what a load of crap! I've spent the last 2 weeks driving to and from work listening to "Word by word" by Anne Lamott. I have listened to it over and over. It's about writing, but it most certainly applies to whatever you are....writer, painter, dancer....... The truth is--it takes us a while to get going, even when we do show up to do the work. Not everything we do is going to be perfect. She talks about shitty first drafts. Writers do not sit at the keyboard and out comes the book. There are rewrites and rewrites and...... The piece of art we do that doesn't turn out as we had hoped is not wasted. We needed to do that piece in order to do the next one. Along the way we learn. It's all in the process. The process is the reward. Art and Fear is a fabulous book. There is a chapter that talks about an art teacher that divided his call in half. One have could make as much stuff as they wanted. The other half had to make 1 piece...that's it--one. Oh, the pressure. What to make?! The lesson? In quantity there is quality. How many times do we work on something and it sparks idea after idea.....!

Down to the wire.....gotta get some work done!

You must watch this!

One more story. I learned a great lesson from an amarylis (although, has it sunk in?!) One year I bought a bulb and just had a grand time watching it grow, first the tip of the green stalk emerging from the crusty dry bulb. Day by day, watching this amazing plant grow. The gorgeous trumpet shaped flowers. What a sight. It ends all too soon. I kept watering it and when it was warm enough I planted it in my garden. In the fall I dug it up and put the bulb in my dark basement so it could dry out again. It needed to rest this way for 3 months, then it could be planted again. Again I watched as the tip of the green stalk emerged. I think we artists are a lot like the bulb. We need down time. We need time to rest. Time to soak in. The bulb isnt' flogging itself for not blooming all the time. It is resting. It is resting so I can bloom again when the time is right.I can't remember what these little flowers are called...silia?....they took me by total surprise the other day. This time of year is my favorite, signs of life popping up all over.....

1 comment:

jgr said...

Hi Chris,
What a wonderful post! You are exactly right. Artists need down-time to think, ponder and rest. Just like athletes. After all, runners get days off, they don't run a marathon every day. It is a good reminder to all of us not to beat ourselves up.
I enjoyed the video too!