Thoughts on My Life as an Artist
Been doing some thinking about art lately. Oh, really?
Well, yes. Now that we’ve moved into the country. And can’t set up my new studio just yet. Leading me to work literally between the rocks and the hard places.
And then there’s the matter of taking real estate courses to add a new career to the family income, sooner rather than later. And I’m wondering if I will have the stamina to pursue a new career full-on while keeping the creative daemons well-fed and satisfied.
I spent years- decades really- raising a family and mostly ignoring, subverting, and putting off the creative daemons until a more opportune time emerged for them to be attended. I often felt as if there were something inside of me, bursting to get out, just like the creatures in the old movie “Alien” erupting from people’s abdomens.
Don’t really want to go back to that state. Not at all.
Last night, the Gallery at the J here in Austin hosted an opening for our mosaic show. I am so impressed by all the work selected for this show; it was inspiring viewing last night- I hope you can go see it.
I was asked to speak briefly- on behalf of the guild- about the guild, about the history of mosaic, and answer questions from the audience about mosaic.
One question necessitated my saying something about the nature of art and of craft, a distinction I make warily, if at all. I formulated my opinion more fully in an e-mail to another inquirer, and this is what I said:
I absolutely hate making a qualitative distinction between ‘art’ and ‘craft’. Really, I wish everyone in the whole world had the opportunity to do both regularly, in a supportive environment. From my point of view, art is really some kind of craft that happens to cross the line into additional content, whether intentional, or unintentional.
I went to art school at a time when the only valid artistic expression was the concept itself, and I guess I still believe there is a core of truth to it for art, but everything doesn’t need to be art. AND, there is a lot of art that is based on an uninspired concept, or the execution of which does not do justice to the concept. In my own art work, I oscillate between having a weak concept and having a strong concept, but an inadequate execution. I guess this is the engine that drives me forward.
There is so much work yet to do in my life.
I am enjoying my real estate studies and researching the law and its application so that I can be wary and aware on behalf of my clients, sending them for advice before it’s too late. But, I cannot abandon the non-verbal practice of artistic expression, for I feel that is where I can make a positive contribution to my community.
So, I have two questions for you: 1) What is art? and 2) How do you negotiate your time and mental energies between two careers?