Thursday, March 18, 2010
The Value of Time
Art Without Compromise by Wendy Richmond
Chapter 8: "Your Excitement Meter"
section 6: "The Value of Time"
We've reached the last section of Richmond's book. "The Value of Time" is a focused essay on the importance of allowing enough time on a daily basis to develop ideas. For the author and her students, this means keeping a journal and reflecting upon it daily in order to identify recurring themes for creative works. It also involves the iterative process of creating drafts, painting, and repainting. As Richmond puts it: Creating a painting or writing drafts of an article or keeping a journal are just a few examples of tangible forms of process. They are activities that convey the value of repetition, careful observation, and the passage of time. They represent the accumulation of experience, the evidence of personal history: built up, painted over, and built up again.
Here, I think the author answers the question often posed by students "What shall I paint?" by urging us to paint what we know, what we think about most. This approach must lead to authentic work because it utilizes one's intimate thoughts, which are genuine reflections of one's world and relationship to it. Most of us, when viewing a painting, can detect the level of sincerity of the artist. We can feel if there is a personal connection between the artist and subject, and if there isn't one we can also feel the emptiness of the work.
So, in one sense, time is the artist's friend. It's one of the most valuable tools we have in our toolbox for creating works of art that are both unique and meaningful.
Now that we've reached the end of Wendy Richmond's book, I'd like to thank her for writing it and also thank all of you for bringing it to life with your insightful comments. Not long ago, I received another email from Richmond:
A quick note here -- just had to tell you before too much time went
by-- I am just beginning to plunge into your deeply thoughtful
reactions to the chapters of my book. I am honored that they are
provoking such a response.
All the best
I, too, am honored by your responses to the postings on this blog. In summary of Richmond's book, I'll say that it is relevant to contemporary artists. She connected to us and made us think, reevaluate, and discuss. You can't ask for more than that.
What next? Tomorrow I'll reflect upon a couple of recent articles I've read in art journals, and after that I'll begin another book!