Friday, August 24, 2007

This little thing we got going


....a little backstory....
This past Tuesday night, Rob and I went to Northampton. We didn't roam the whole town, but managed to hit the important spots - the used book store and music store - and dinner that was uber-yummy, of course. Anyway, this bookstore has a fabulous Art section and I swear I could spend sooooooo much money there. I'd love to have a library filled with art books - and books on mysticism, history, anthropology, poetry - oh heck, i just want a library in my house. They had one book that was gorgeous - it came in a protective shell and it was about Miro. It was originally $150 and in perfect condition - $65. Couldn't splurge, but I savored every page my eyes could absorb. Instead, I found an $8 paperback on Helen Frankenthaler's prints from the 60-70's and a little collection of poetry by Sylvia Plath. Intensity Station all aboard! Choo choo!

Raw. Honest. Women that took risks in their Art.

I have been inspired.

So reading thru the H.F. book, she is quoted throughout about her work and process. Everything she talks about I can connect to - not to say I am always reaching that perfect zen place - but I know of it and strive to connect deeper to that place as I grow as a painter. She doesn't get very intellectual about her work and she sees no need to do so - it isn't what it's about. She is a painter of feelings and impressions, dreams and visions, rather than intellectual statements, solid and firm. She talks more about the intuitive process, taking risks, never getting too comfortable with familiar patterns or choices. Working until it works for YOU as the creator, and yes, that is enough to say a work is finished.

The more esoteric writing on Helen's work was quoted from a variety of sources - critics, curators, high profile friends and alliances, and a biographer. I felt so connected to her story until this part. The part where gallery shows, connections, oh why not come out and say it, FAME comes into the picture... in the art sense of the word. Obviously it was Jackson that made the cover of Life magazine, not Helen, but still, she is KNOWN all over the world.

I bring this all up because it got me wondering about all of us choosing to go our own way selling online instead of or alongside showing in galleries. I see the journey many of us are on as a new course and no one among us knows where it will lead us. There are artists that have been selling online for years, making a living from it, and never, or rarely show in galleries. Of course, most of us juggle a little of both, but I seem to see a trend of two seperate worlds going on. There is the art scene still happening from high society circles and art schools to galleries and there is the art scene happening in the "streets" - only the streets are now the lines of communication we have through these glowing boxes we spend so much time in front of (but thank goodness for them, seriously). I know there are a lot of real, good people who didn't buy their way into art fame - they earned it. But this path we chose is different.

I think it's saying...

I am declaring that this is what I want to do. I'm going to put myself and what I have to offer right now out there for anyone to take, and if you do, I will learn from it, and if you don't, I will learen from it. Either way, I'm still going to be an artist.

Rather than fighting to get noticed by a very limited and focused spotlight, we put ourselves out there for the masses to decide. Not a curator, or a panel of judges - our fellow folks out there that will or won't like your art but they won't know unless they SEE IT. Right?

Ok. I'll get off my paint splattered step ladder now.

I really wasn't preaching, just thinking out loud as I usually do. In circles. As I usually do.

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Fame has been on my mind a lot lately. Because I am finally deconstructing it and seeing it for what it is and realizing that it isn't what I want or should be going for. I have humbly said "who me?" haha and blushed but man, I've thought about it, let's be honest. I've been aware of famous people in music, films, art, books, everything since the get go. I remember those names, I know more about celebrities than I care to admit. I'd like to say I memorized classic poetry when I was young - I didn't, I memorized every line to A Room With A View and the lyrics of popular music... .don't ask me why. I was into fame as a kid, then into an alternative version of it as a young adult (the ins and outs of dankster musicians from A to Z,,,,oy) and now at 30 when I see someone who is younger than me and very "successful" (ie has the spotlight) there is jealousy. I spot it and now I'm doing all I can to break it down and walk over it's remains. I don't want that shit. I don't want to envy every young person that gets noticed for their talent. That's something someone else did for my whole life, and I don't want to repeat it. That's why I need to examine this idea of creative success. Is it being in a magazine or a tv show or a high profile gallery? It could be, but is it for me? That's what I've been asking.... and asking.

What do I really want?

I know that things will happen whether I make a choice or not. But there is a lot one can do when one is focused, and this wish washy vague understanding of "I just want to make art" isn't enough anymore. What do I want to accomplish with my art? What do I want for myself and my family, and what goals do I need to set in motion to accomplish these things? What is my PURPOSE?????

Life will happen one way or another, the question is, do I have an answer?

4 comments:

Gramercy Galleria said...

Jessica,

WOW!!! What a wonderful read.

Robin

Paula Manning-Lewis said...

I'm always amazed by how much we think alike! I know exactly what you mean. Being a few years older than you I can tell you that I was where you are now. I've discovered that my purpose is to be happy, create art, and make a living from my art. For me anyway, it makes no difference how that living is made(ie galleries or online), it matters only that I am enjoying life and creating art!

Peace! :)

Surface said...

This is such a wonderful post. I need to go troll around and find more of your new miracles of art!

WENDY BANDURSKI-MILLER said...

Hi Jessica ! you know the discussion about the purpose is somewhat problematic because it is actually different for everyone. asking why s the first step and you know being honest with myself was the hard part. I think i want to steer my own course and something about creating paintings and photography does that for me... it is a product of me.I like me and i value me. Totally my choice as to colour shape and form meaning and expression.... and in the end i worked it out. I want to make art because i CAN and i have decided it is important....as am i.

I want to share my excitements and discoveries and views with others and sometimes i suspect its about lifting up what i value for everyone to NOTICE what it is i am saying.....in other words to lead ....

seems to me that art is not only expression and a product but it is a business and i need to keep reminding myself of that.... some decisions don't on the surface seem to make sense but i want to look back and see no room for regret in my life.....

I say hold onto the steering wheel and stter your own path is my greatest purpose... perhaps it is yours too... i sense it is similar...

we only get one shot at THIS life and i suggest you can only control YOURSELF.... you have embarked on the course involving art so make sure it is you who is steering your art your business and your choices. That is what is the purpose after all self sustainability ... and i honestly think that well someone has to push our cultural boundaries and i nominate me cause i can.

something to think about isn't it.