Thursday, September 29, 2011

Life as an Artist

"Torn" 40x30 encaustic

To be true to oneself as an artist can be difficult, as it is tempting to sway to fashion or what others perceive as right for you.  But it is Truth I seek.  I have never and will never paint for anyone else.  My work has often been criticized as too "busy", or "complicated", but it is all an investigation about my world and the relationships that exist within it.  Perhaps I don't paint 'pretty'.  I once had someone describe my work as 'filled with angst'.  Maybe so.  But I divert to this quote from Eugen Herrigel, "...more important than all outward works, however attractive, is the inward work which he has to accomplish if he is to fulfil his vocation as an artist."  We have to be true to ourselves, and if we are just making pretty, decorative pictures, where are we going?  Are we discovering anything? Are we learning anything?  My work is about discovery, it is how I work out my dreams.  The viewers get little clues in the titles I give my work, but mostly I encourage the viewer to create their own story, their own little truth.  My work, though, is for me first, and then it is presented for the viewer.   That is probably what makes rejection so hard in the art world, I am so intertwined with the work in the first place.  "Torn" is about the dichotomy that exists in many forms in the politics of art.  Unfortunately, it is saturated, sad, and twisted.  But this piece can be about so many other things, which is what is so great about art!  But it is Truth and Love I seek, two virtues which may also be 'Torn' apart. 

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