Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today My Roses Wept

Well, this is the end result of the roses from the prior post. I kept adding things, I stopped working, I started, I tried to decide what this "should" be, and then I gave up and just let myself paint. Between calls at work I read a book I tried to read years ago and realized at the last attempt I just wasn't ready to wholeheartedly embrace the message-I am now. The book is "Art & Fear" by David Bayles and Ted Orland. I laughed at so many things this time, I read it in a few hours, whereas before I'd read a page and lay it down. Here's a quote, "A finished piece is, in effect, a test of correspondence between imagination and execution". A friend of mine shared with me about her "inner critic". Mine is the little voice that says to me, it has to be saleable, it has to have purpose, it HAS to be this, that, thus....and last night, I said, it simply has to be painted. My only goal now is paint, and let my poor soul have its own unique say independent of pleasing a public, a person, the inner Nazi, all that. And last night my roses just had to weep.

This statement is not aimed at anyone, any school of thought or method of painting, but I'm just not of the mind "every piece a masterpiece". The main point of the book is, and seems to be the lesson I'm learning in life-art is made by fallible human beings who are constantly changing. It is not some angel's offering to a few hallowed souls. It can be learned, it is a dialogue as the other quote suggests, it is living, on-going, a diary of the soul. What makes an artist an artist? This dialogue cannot be ignored and it is a person who does not stop recording it. It is a person who is lovingly, completely and wholly dedicated to their craft and who keeps working and keeps listening to what that work says to them and responds to it. This whole thought train set me free. Is it worth the doing? Only if the work is authentic response to the individual vision. Nothing else is, and I could say that for any other art form.

A parting shot that I hope may give a chuckle. This quote included in the book is from Ben Shahn, "It may be a point of great pride to have a Van Gogh on the living room wall, but the prospect of having Van Gogh himself in the living room would put a great many devoted art lovers to rout."


  1. Great quotes! Hope to see more art for Sue's sake.

  2. Love the insights...love the point about Van Gogh...and I love that the roses are still red beneath their weeping.