You know those moments . . . you take your glasses off and massage the bridge of your nose for a bit – as if that gesture is going to massage your brain too, and refresh your senses.
Those moments allow random “headlines” to occur to me – ones that should be typed in all caps and put on billboards all over the country – this country anyway.
Here’s the most recent . . .
ART IS NOT “QUICK AND EASY”
The odd thing is that this ridiculous idea actually came along way before the pace of our lives was ridiculous enough to warrant it.
My earliest recollection of hearing about “five minute projects” etc. is from the Aleene’s Creative Living TV Show, and the Carole Duvall Show carried on the tradition.
I think besides the fact that they wanted to jam several projects into a half hour program, the quick-and-easy thing was meant to convince people that they actually had some time to be creative.
But, as is true of most really bad ideas, this one took on a life of its own and became the rallying cry for the whole craft industry – with some spillover into the arts as well.
Because the craft industry is the entry point into creative arts for so many people, the idea of taking your time to make something got lost.
Just try to find a tutorial that tells you the project will take several hours, or several days to complete. If you do find one, hang on to it – it is probably a very good one.
Art is not quick and it is not easy (good art anyway).
Even if someone can do a sketch in a few minutes that looks great – she didn’t learn to do that by any quick-and-easy method. She’s been practicing for years to develop that skill.
I have NEVER been a “quick-and-easy” artist. Frankly, I think that is a contradiction in terms. Even my journal pages aren’t quick or that easy.
But I still am enthralled by artists who spend years on a project, and my timing expectations for my own art are still out of line.
The truth of this came home to me for a couple of reasons . . .
I got into glass and I got a kiln.
Toward the end of the first firing – after 16 HOURS of heating and cooling ramps, I was incredulous!!
WHAT? 16 HOURS and I still can’t open that thing and see what I’ve got?! After all that prepping and cutting and polishing and cleaning and assembling small pieces, I have to wait 16 HOURS?!? Or more!
It’s sort of like childbirth – although how would I know, but I’ve been told – It can’t REALLY be like this, and everybody knows it, and nobody told me?
OK – much better than childbirth, but still a shock.
How does anybody ever get any glass art done if every firing takes 16-18 HOURS?!
This will teach me patience, and I was put on this earth to learn patience. That is a good thing.
And then I found a tube of Aleene’s Tacky Glue in a drawer, and it all came back to me.
It got me thinking about how WRONG it is that we think art should be quick and easy in the first place.
The real joy of art making is in the journey.
Although you may smile and feel warm fuzzies when you see your finished piece (or not), that is not the same fun as being immersed in the process of creating that piece.
So, we should savor the creative process, and like we feel while reading a great book, we should not want the experience to end.
This is applicable to all pleasures in life, and indeed, to LIFE itself.
Enjoy the process, the journey, and hope it doesn’t end for a LONG, LONG time.