Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What's it all about?

With a few days off for the Thanksgiving holiday and some time to take a break from curriculum planning, handout Xeroxing, and homework grading, I have started ruminating on my art career. The usual questions that vex all artists are popping into my head. Where should I show my work? Which events offer the best networking opportunities? How much should I charge for my work? How should I present my work? Which grants should I apply for? On and on.

As I mull over all these things, one thought keeps occurring to me. All of this is important, but it's subordinate to one main point: I LOVE TO MAKE PICTURES! I have so much fun playing around with painting, collaging and printing that I want to do it every day for the rest of my life. There are so many exciting directions that I want to pursue in the studio, there just aren't enough canvases or pieces of paper to try them all on! Give me a brush, a surface, and some paint, and I'm in heaven on earth.

Every activity I do -- teaching, attending openings, sending out applications, not to mention grocery-shopping and changing the oil in my car -- I do because, in some way or another, it supports or allows my time in the studio.

As Twyla Tharp says in her wonderful book "The Creative Habit," "I've always thought that one of the great rewards of being a creative person is that I GET TO DO IT" (emphasis hers).

Artists do a lot of other things so they can do their creative thing, but it's all worth it for those glorious moments of elation in the studio.

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