outflows and inflows of creativity

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I Have To

Do you ever feel just, well, beat up?

Have you ever had a vision of a piece - an idea, an inspiration that comes with unexpected force? You dream about it. Maybe you need to research how another artist approached certain elements. You go to the library, or look online. maybe you sketch out your composition, maybe you go directly to canvas; the one you painstakingly stretched and primed. You mix your paints, prepare your cleaning solutions, turn on the answering machine, load your brush and make the first stroke.

After soaring highs, basement level lows, much cursing, your piece is done. If you're lucky, and have gallery representation, your piece goes there. You wait and hope someone will understand your struggle, hear your voice, and pay money for the privilege of having it speak to them in their home. If you don't have a gallery you still wait and hope, maybe put the piece online, hit the streets with it.

The beat up part comes with the waiting, waiting, hoping, praying, critiques from friends and family who overnight have become art experts. Why continue this self torture?
Speaking for myself, the answer is simple. Maybe too much so. I have to.
The smell of the paint, the feel of the brush in my hand - the work that sparks to life. . . this is in the cells of my body. Even if no one else appreciates or can see what it is I'm trying to express, I must try, I must.

For more years than I want to admit to, I denied the artist within, and was miserable. I was like a fish thrown up on a high bank, gasping, struggling to get back into the water.
Of course, I still struggle, but in many ways the path is much smoother. Art has done that for me. Given me a voice, my voice.

(Image courtesy Darwin Bell - Click to see his fantastic photos)

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