It’s been a very strange Spring – outside as well as inside my head.
I know everyone in the country has had weather issues.
Here, it has just been late freezes, but they have managed to reduce the Lilac blossoms to almost none.
I got some white ones, though, and did something I never do – cut a little branch to bring inside because I kew the overnight freeze would do away with the blossom anyway.
I may as well immortalize them in the journal, right?
This is not my “real” art, but it’s close.
All garden work is way behind because of the strange weather, and I am only at the clean-up the hardscape stage . . .
At this point, I consider the courtyard a blank canvas – ready for “painting” this year’s garden. I LOVE gardening.
But gardening is not my real art, either, but it comes very close.
There was a wonderful comment left by Carole on the first post of this series. Here is what she said:
“A “real artist”, as I understand it, often has a closet-full of work that the world never sees, because for a real artist it’s the process that’s important and not the result or what anyone thinks of it. If it were the reverse, wouldn’t it lead to more frustration? There will always be someone (or many someones) who make art better than we do. So most of us make art because we love it…as a form of venting or as our own expression of the joy of life and the beauty we see. If you are a “real” artist will you enjoy making art any more than you do now? What if enabling others to make it IS your greatest art?”
She makes such excellent points here, that it causes me to examine what it is that I do mean by my “real” art.
I think that most hobby artists (and by that I only mean that your art does not have to float your mortgage etc.) have the freedom to create for themselves, which is great, but the price they pay is usually a day job, so their time to make art is limited.
I have never been a hobby artist.
When I was very young, I made myself a promise that I would not work for other people – I would live by my art no matter what it took. I have kept that promise.
And that meant doing anything commercial I could to make a living – as long as it was about art. So, I have been an illustrator, photographer, graphic designer, and art teacher in all kinds of venues. Other stuff too – like Cre8it.com.
This resulted in a thought pattern which divided my creative activity into art I did for other people and my “real” art, which I did for me, but ended up selling to other people anyway.
The difference there was that in my real art, somebody didn’t tell me what to create for this or that purpose. There were no deadlines. They bought it *after* it existed.
I did a lot of painting and gallery work early on, and then got so involved with my graphics firm that I was doing no fine art at all. That was when I got into fine art photography as my “fix” because there was no time for anything else.
But, photography, as much as I love it, is not my real art either.
I really do love teaching others the joys of drawing and painting. I know it shows in my workshops that I love what I do. And I get real joy when I have just finished a lesson that I know will “work” for the students. They will “get” it and do it and love it.
But teaching is not my real art either.
I don’t know how to explain this, but there is only one thing I do that keeps me in the moment and I am NOT hearing the siren calls of all the other things i could, should, would, be doing. And that is my real art.
Right now, there are two things – painting and kiln glass – that take me to that place and hold me there.
The thing is, when I “wake up” from this blissful respite, I am in trouble.
All the sirens are going full blast because I haven’t been tending the to-do list.
I want to be very clear here that all my self-indulgent navel-gazing lately is not complaining. People have real troubles in this world and this certainly does not qualify as one.
This is just about examining the parts of a complicated life (a wonderful life) to see if I can find balance. If I can slow anything down, or let go of any parts . . .
So I am not always hurrying.
So I don’t hurt myself with stress (or falling and breaking bones).
So my monkey mind will shut the hell up already.
I would do all this in private if I thought it was just something that goes on around here.
But I never meet anybody anymore whose hair is not blowing in the winds of hurry, scurry, and over-do.
I want more of that quiet soul time I get from my real art.
I want to slow down and smell the roses. Not all of them, but some of them anyway.
I want my life to last longer because I am not zooming through its scenery.
Do you have a “real art”? Think about it. Is there an activity you do that makes your world stand still – at least for a little while?
I know meditation can do that, but that is a suspension of activity and even thought.
I am wondering whether you have an “activity” that you can rest within awhile? If you do, it’s a real art..