Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cold Weather musings

5 January, 2011
A view of the dam this morning. 
It was about 20º F at 7:00 am.
Why stand still in the freezing temperature for 20 minutes drawing the ice covered river as it plunges over the dam?

There is a thread of macho that goes through American Art: the lone artist standing tall against the forces of conformity which runs counter to the notion of the artist as a sensitive pansy.

In illustration and fine art, for men at least, there's a stereotype of the hard-drinking tough cowboy. He always knows what's what and behind the façade of professionalism, there is a tough person who will not be pushed around or fooled. The artist is a gunslinger or an athlete.

I guess there's some truth in all of these stereotypes and that they are helpful as one sorts out all the competing demands of the creative life.
As an aside, I  wonder however, if women feel the same desire to "stand tall" and do extreme (or moderately extreme) things in their art. I recall seeing an exhibition of "The Dinner Party" by Judy Chicago and being wowed by the amount of painstaking detailed work involved.

Regardless of gender, artists in our now-dominant Western commercial tradition, have adopted a self-imposed requirement to express their individuality through the medium of their Art. We only have one life and artists feel compelled to give it their all and plumb the deepest recesses of their particular field of inquiry. And the results are great. Every artist is on this path of self-discovery.

Still… I miss Summer…

22 August, 2010
…and it's modest claim to simply attend to the gifts of Life.
For me, now, Art consists of these two motivations: firstly, appreciating and celebrating with my attention what is before me, and secondly, pushing and poking my unconscious, my intellect and the social fabric around me in an attempt to add something new to the chorus and the great human story.

Happy New Year to all. May you make great Art in 2011!

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