”The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars.” Art and Fear, page 5.
“Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction, a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the Muse”
-Henry David Thoreau
I could quote, quote and quote again, but that’s not the learning or the answer to my own questions as an artist. And learning and questioning don’t always have ends or answers, but the seeking of them teaches us something about ourselves. We may have commonalities, but i am myself, and my art is mine only, coming from me as i develop, learn and question. I have to trust myself. Putting my trust in something or someone is not the same thing—i must, i will trust my self.
As i have said in an earlier post, i’m not one for “self help” books. I wouldn’t classify Art & Fear as one of those though–it doesn’t offer solutions to problems, or neat little excercises that will get you out of your rut. It does however clarify and gently slap you up the head with reality–IF you are serious about being an artist. My copy in the past two days has been highlighted, bent, had stars scribbled on some passages, sentences circled and been exclamation points-ed all over the place. Some of it was a struggle to get through–i usually am a fast reader, cogently assimilating 90% right away, but found myself going over some passages several times, to pull the shadows and echoes of the words out into the clear.
This is not light reading. This is not a fast answer. It’s not an “ooo i get the cosmic-ness of it all now” book. Obviously i was ready, more than ready, to read it, even eager for it: even before my father’s death bringing up some things that re-inforced the issues needing clarification. And i’m NOT blaming him for a lot of me: he contributed, as did others along the way, as all of us have, but i am the final arbiter of what influenced me and my art. This isn’t a bandwagon i’m jumping on either–the last few months has been a deep block and i need help.
I will share as i go along with these new discoveries, but promise it will not become the sole raison d’etre for my being here 🙂 Pictures and the real work are worth a thousand stories anytime.