It's the weekend - the time when I step away from the weighty job of reviewing the art theory books and have a little fun. This also gives me time to reflect on the substantive comments written by you. There's a lot to consider, but today I want to focus on "optimism." I've always thought that artmaking is an optimistic act, and our good friends Hallie and L.W. were good enough to remind us of this in yesterday's comments.
What makes art an optimistic act? For me, it's the hope and belief that the outcome of my endeavors will be something wonderful and meaningful to me. When I paint, I sometimes catch myself holding my breath. I'm fascinated and excited by the process. Brush to water to pigment to paper over and over again until something new appears - sometimes unexpectedly better than I had imagined. And, I get to do this day after day, week after week, and year after year! What could be more perfect?
But, there's even more: I see this in the works of others - YOUR work. It makes me realize what a precious and fragile community of artists we are. I love this community and want to protect it and nurture it. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to help other artists advance their work and professional standing. We need each other, especially (as Orland points out in his book) because we get little encouragement from the rest of the world.
This afternoon I treated myself to a movie. I went to see "Secretariat." Granted, the real story was "Disneyfied" to the point of some major distortions, but that doesn't matter. The point was to show the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It was a joyous celebration of individual strength. That's how I see life as an artist. It IS a struggle - there's no easy path. But isn't the struggle rewarding? Doesn't it make us value what we do even more? And, doesn't it help us value each other more as well?
So, my thought for the weekend can be distilled to this: embrace artmaking with joy and exuberance - no matter what.
Have a great weekend!