Friday, February 9, 2018

Making A Statement

Time out to ramble a bit.  My eyes are so overworked right now, they feel swollen, and are exactly that, one might think I spent the night crying.  I'm not crying, not yet, well, not about the painting thing I am doing.  I still tear up at surface thing.  I even cry at award shows and I don't even like them.

So, here I am, in the throws of supplying enough work to constitute a solo show of artwork done by yours truly in April, the 21st to be exact.  I am encircled with a million emotions, all those "shouldas" I shoulda done.  Shoulda started earlier, oh wait, I did.  Shoulda picked smaller canvases, shoulda cancelled out on Bach, shoulda left the cat boxes dirty, shoulda told Gerry to just turn his clothes inside out so I don't have to do laundry, the list grows each day.  Now the gallery asks for a title of my show, and wants an artist's statement for publicity.  Which brings me to doing this type ramble, maybe an artist statement will flow from my fingers once I ramble for a bit.  I know an artist's statement is to be short, they don't want a three page artist statement.  I know it is to say something personal about how I feel about making art, and what I am hoping to accomplish.  This is why I get stuck every time I try to put that into words.  How does one say how they feel without it creating a sense of fear.  I end up feeling like I am on a stage singing rather than at a keyboard.  The panic of being so exposed feels terribly frightening somehow.  I write things down, read them, and hear imaginary people laughing, saying.. " yeah right... "  I don't think anyone will laugh at me, and if they do, who cares.  Just do it, right.

A friend gave me the book of Emily Carr's memoires last week.  I am consumed by this book.  I probably will shock most other artists to say I have never read up on Emily Carr over the years.  I do admire the legacy of artwork she created in her life.  I guess that has always been enough of a statement for me through time.  But now I am enthralled by her personal statements, her self doubt, her tiredness and never-ending drive to find that space where her canvas speaks of what she is searching for.  I love this book, and I am delighted to be able to fall into bed at night with my tired eyes and read it.  I am even more delighted to have such an intuitive friend who knew I would love this book, and found a way for me to read it, she gave it to me, what a fine gesture that was, lucky I am.

I often shake my head silently at so many art makers who never speak of their self doubts and fears.  I go on social medias and see grand self promotions abundant, and awesome artwork for sure, but never that aching Achilles heel we artists suffer from.  Is that because they don't have one, they truly are in complete belief of their own greatness?  or  .... is it because they are afraid it will hurt their image if they say anything less than great about themselves?  For me, one who speaks of their honest authenticity sells way better.  What more do we want than a person's authentic self?  Okay, so if their authentic self says they live on a happy-go-great level 24/7, then good for them.  I hope they never crash the way I do every other day, or hour, or minute.  I have a well used runway in my studio for all my crash landings.

Uh huh, crash landing, like last night for instance.  I need to provide a couple of works for publicity NOW.  So, thinking that I do have a couple I can "completely finish(whatever that means)" by the weekend, I say I can do that.  And what do I do when I get back into the studio with swollen eyes and aching heel, I decide I could improve that sky and water.  It could be considered fine, satisfactory and okay, but I decide I could make it better than that.  12 hours later, where am I?  I dread to look today at it.  I recall going to bed thinking that I went from okay, to maybe not, to what-are-you-doing, to oh sh*t, to gotta fix this NOW, to..  maybe Emily will tell me what to do.  I pray every night, mostly say thank you for all the blessings, another gift of a well lived and loved day.  Last night I asked for temperance and practical thinking.  I asked God to help me be better as a person, and that I believe will make that sky work today, I do have faith.

Well, I'm still not ready to go on stage and sing my statement, but I suspect I don't really understand that elusive emotion called "ready".  I will never be ready for anything, but I will take what comes my way each day.  Off we go on another plane trip, wish me luck!

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend!

Mary Ann


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