Flying Girl Whispers or I Will Give You A Home
Golden Acrylics, Pitt Artist Pens, Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils
Yesterday I was confronted by the conflict between my ambitions and my reality. This painting took three days. Or was it four? I started it days ago, and left it sitting, not wanting to show it to anyone because it was just WRONG. Blech. The colors were jarring and it just was somewhat awkward. But I let it sit, rather than posting it wrong. I let it sit. I thought about what I was really wanting to do with my project, with my life, with my work. Then last night, after bad television and more hours of lack of ambition, (oh and a glass of port) I took my paint to the WRONG picture. I am actually really liking the layers of paint, lately. I'm enjoying glazing on top of what is already there and even more so, scumbling... which is glazing with opaque or semi opaque layers of a lighter color. So I tried it out with what was already there, and the words came to my head (probably due to my "gatherer" mindset this afternoon, as I scooted about the internet looking for inspiration and focus) and voila, everything came together in meaning.
The painting only succeeded when I gave up my expectations for it, for myself, for my project, for my productivity. I had to stop trying to PRODUCE, I had to stop trying to be PROFESSIONAL and come up with PERFECT (oh, lord, there it is, that's why I've been having so much trouble. My old nemesis, perfectionism) art so that I could sell it and make money.
The reality is life is what it is and my process is what it is and my time and energy are limited and I can't just WILL myself to so something that does not fit into the life I have. I had forgotten about the initial babysteps, or perhaps I thought I was "over" needing to take babysteps, because I had already come so far.
But it doesn't matter where you've already been, when you start something, you're always starting from point A. I thought I was at point C.
HA HA HA HA.
Luckily, I am watching many people as they struggle with their Portfolio Projects or their personal challenges or their New Year's resolutions or whatever it is we all have decided to tackle in this post holiday, pre the rest of the year period. It's not lucky that everyone is struggling, it's lucky that we are sharing our processes and through that sharing, learning that this is normal. Part of the process. Necessary. Expected.
Yay, we're normal.
So, let's back up a step. Let's not even think about what we really want to produce with everything we've taken on. Let's think about where we ARE. Where we have come from, and what we want to get out of this work, what we want to learn, how we want to grow.
Where have you come from? What is your experience with your work?
I grew up the child of artists and was supported in my art and writing from very young, both at home and in school. But I have always had it in my head that making money off of art or writing was nearly impossible and you had to be a genius to succeed and even then, The Man could always stop you. A couple of bad critiques and a couple of rejection letters later, and I shied even more away from publishing or selling work. From 92-97 I was poet, painter and novelist who waited tables and infrequently showed, performed or sent work out. From 97-03 I taught HS and wrote and painted when I wasn't working (yay summer). After that I bartended for a year and worked on my art and writing career again, then came the babies, and all art disappeared. Kaput for 3 years. This last year has been spent recovering that art and working my way up to where I could start over from where I was before getting pregnant.
What do you want to gain from your work? (Not what you want to produce, but what you want to gain out of taking this work on.)
I want to get to the point of my life where I have an infrastructure set up for being a professional. I want to know how to send work out and who to send it to and how to manage all the technical details. I don't want to be afraid of art and commerce. I want to have a regular writing and art practice. I want to share my fiction with people instead of hiding it away. I want to be clear and explicit about my process as I continue to work on this project. I want to help other people be creative as I build my own work. I want to roll with the punches and not lose momentum because of bad critiques or rejections or disappointments. I want to understand my own process and allow my own dips and lulls while maintaining my creative practice. I want to have faith that the work will come.
I wanted to do this in a linear manner, with my goals and my lists, but it turns out, it isn't linear. And it's not about the product. It's more about the creative process, which is more organic, and it's turning into, for me, more of an Inquiry than a business proposition. Let me tell you, I was not expecting that. So as I work this process, I'm going to go slow and take it one step at a time, whether the steps take me forward or backward a little.
What about you? Where are you coming from with your work? Where are you wanting to go? How's the process been for you so far?