Friday, March 4, 2011

Musings: Subject Matter & Time

Yesterday I went to my art group meeting, the first one in a couple of months. We had "show and tell" to catch each other up with what we've been doing. We met in a coffee shop to talk. I brought my camera and showed them photos of my new work. Two questions that were gently asked of me really got me thinking. First, What size are these paintings? and then Are they all florals?

Although there were smiles all around as I presented my new work, I felt rather disappointed in myself for beginning my new painting phase so timidly. Instead of diving right in and doing large work, I've started small and moved up ever-so-slowly. What a time-waster fear can be. Also, my subject matter is nothing new, just a colorizing of the same complex florals I've been doing for the past several years. I don't know. While I strongly disagree with the art world's over-emphasis on novelty, this did make me wonder whether I am still clinging too tightly to my comfort zone, to the past.

I am learning a lot, which interests me and makes me stretch. But I can't seem to progress fast enough. (I would so like to clone myself. I would stay here in the studio, experimenting to my heart's content while my clone could take care of the rest of my life: the housework, the finances, the social commitments, the snow shoveling, the cooking and laundry, and especially the marketing. )

Anyways, back to subject matter. There are several themes I want to return to or explore: making symbolic, visionary art, which I haven't done in years; working on my illustrated book; doing more color illustrations for prints, cards, etc.; learning airbrush techniques.... Again, I need a few more clones.

I'm neither looking for sympathy nor praise. These are merely wishes and reflections, attempts to locate myself and whether I am on the path that is right for me. I've come to realize through writing this blog each day that attention invokes observation, which provokes questioning - and inquiry is simply a part of anyone's process when attempting to juggle art with all the other balls up in the air.

(I've often envied the Undead, who have centuries to devote to whatever interest they want to develop. Bleah.) But for mortals Time and inevitable Death hold us tight in their tether and keep us running.

While I'm on the subject of death...
The cat wounded a mouse which fled under the cabinet in my studio and died. For the past two days I've had to endure the strong perfume of Odor du Dead Mouse as I paint.
I have experience with this, though. In time it will dry up and stop stinking and some day, when I move, we will uncover the little bones behind the cabinet.

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