Thursday, May 3, 2007

Making art at my own pace

"Making art is difficult. We leave drawings unfinished and stories unwritten. We do work that does not feel like our own. We repeat ourselves. We stop before we have mastered our materials, or continue on long after their potential has been exhausted." Art & Fear. David Bayles & Ted Orland

This is exactly where I am and have been for many years. I sketch, paint, take classes, but I never finish anything and I live with a sense that I have failed the small amount of talent that has been passed onto me.

But Bayles and Orland go on to talk about the difference between stopping and quitting. I haven't quit yet - when you consider that "making" art is a process, not necessarily an end result, then, yes I am continually "making" art. I just stop before I finish and start over on some new drawing or painting which in all likelihood will also be left unfinished. But I haven't quit. That gives me some small measure of hope.

This blog will track my progress in attacking the doubt and self-consciousness I feel about my art-making. Getting my thoughts out "on paper" has always helped me to explore my way of thinking and maybe even push my thinking beyond its current state. I'm going to make a more conscious effort to do that as I track my efforts to make art.

My other interests - areas that are not as angst-filled such as running and general life - will also be a feature of this blog. The happiness I find so easily in running provides a counter-weight to the trepidation about art-making. Although running can be a competitive sport, I have no problem running at my own pace. I enjoy participating in races for the excitement of being around other runners and the push it gives me to do my best. I don't feel a need to be the best runner, just to do the best I can and that is enough. I would like to reach that same point with art-making. To not feel so self-conscious around other artists. To feel satisified with doing the best I can while always striving to improve. To find more happiness in art-making.

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