Saturday, July 17, 2010

"it suddenly appeared again," or Prayer for Rebirth

"it suddenly appeared again," or Prayer for Rebirth
Ink and Acrylic Paint on Vintage Book Page
31/100 in 100 days Creative Challenge

I am about 2 or 3 weeks behind in my self imposed create 100 works of art in 100 days challenge. Of course that's not so bad, considering I started about 2 or 3 weeks behind the arbitrary date of starting. I didn't pick the date. Well, actually I did. It's the date of last year's challenge. So this is the Second Annual 100 in 100 days challenge. I find myself much more casual about it this year than last year. But then, at the same time, I am also far more experimental than I was last year. Last year, it was pretty much painting the whole time. This year I'm doing paint, ink, paper, wood, paperclay, fabric, polymer clay, photography.... I think I might even include some home decor in this.Well, if I actually do something to an object, not just rearrange a room, but paint something or turn a cardboard box into a wastepaper basket. Don't scoff. I have it in the plans.

I suppose I am looking into making creativity an integrated part of my life, and working on lowering the pressure I put on myself to produce and produce.

And when you really think about it, painting pictures is awesome and fun and wonderful and all that, but what is the real benefit of being creative? Where do we get the most out of being creative? It's not the object that we finish that is the most valuable (although I know that art is actually a commodity, but let's not go in that direction right now) it the journey we are on to create the piece that really enriches our lives.

The other day, my 13 year old babysitter looked at a painting I was working on and was amazed. She didn't know how I could do it. She asked how long it had taken and I told her a couple of hours. She said it would have taken her months. And then I answered, "Well, it took me 39 years and a couple of hours." Because every little work of creativity we engage in is a product of the whole entirety of our lives. The years of study, all the experiences, the reading, the practice, the experimentation. And when you really think about it, each piece of work we do also changes us in ways, from the subtle to the profound. So not only does creativity come out of our lives, but the process of creating in turn transforms us.

This one above? I took another step in my struggle against perfectionism. I almost gave this one up for crap because I just didn't like it. But when I put it away, and then later looked at it in relation to the whole body of these Prayer Paintings, I saw how it could complete the collection, add another layer, reinforce prior thoughts. Then again, maybe this piece is teaching me the value of the process (I learn this lesson all the time) or to look at a piece not only for what is on the page, but also for it's relation to the rest of my life, the rest of my work.

Isn't that more important than the perfection of one little piece? Isn't it more important to see the whole flow of experience and understanding and creativity? Isn't it more important to go on the journey. The art itself might just be a wonderful byproduct.

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