Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fish again

It's very pretty outside. An extremely bright day. 

Sharing work I've done is nice, and it's fun to do the blog. Sometimes reading what I write on the blog,  it strikes me as odd that there isn't much talk about the work, that the blog is taken up with side issues. That's ok with me.

 I don't think an artist shares, on a deep level, the personal driving things that really do motivate their work. When they  try it's often painful to hear.  If artist statements are any indication of what motivates creativity, I think those things are better left unsaid.  

Every time an art show has handed me a paper with the instructions to write a statement, my heart sinks. They're almost always so awful to read. I can only read artist statements now for the humor.  When I must write one I drag my feet over it  then finally write something terse that really says nothing at all. I do need to practice that, and someone I know whom no one could accuse of not being a serious artist said to me, "I know, they're awful. Just write something as if it's for your mother to read." 

 For most creative people, those things are so very deep and personal that dredging them up is near impossible. I believe it is counterproductive. People are complicated. Sometimes WE don't even know what is motivating us. 

 It's strange to do creative work for a living, every thing you do leads you to more questions and a bit more understanding, and yet more questions again, often with no answers. The artists who interest me most are ones who give the impression that they are still learning and still discovering. To me, they are the practitioners of the art of surrendering to the work, with the most wisdom to offer, because in their humility they open themselves up to greater discoveries than the chest-beaters who have been there and done that.  When I hear that someone has all the answers, I cannot believe them. I think they have surrendered to their ego, or what they have decided is their ego, or to something that the people around them most want or need to hear. That is understandable, though. 

The creative process isn't based on empirical data , and the motivating force inside all of us therefore remains a bit of a mystery. Dag Hammarskjold observed in his book 'Markings', about something----not the creative impulse but I have to re-read it because I remember the phrase and not what he was referring to----"It beckons as it remains hidden."  So true. 

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