I had a great vision for my final “cat-in-1900s-attire” series. Little Greta was the model, with curly hair sticking out of her ears, round little body, and a sweet face. She would be my matriarch. I had envisioned her with a Victorian high-neck lace collar that covered shoulders and chest. I wanted her to look somewhat stern and also grandmotherly. But, the drawing did not like that. I fought, redrew, and did everything to make that vision happen. Greta was not having it. The high lace collar made her anatomy too human, The idea of giving her shoulders somehow made her look like a portrait of a sea captain. I was clearly not in charge of my drawing, but I realize I rarely am. My vision of a drawing changes as it is created. The artwork takes on a personality and if I try to force it into something it doesn’t want to be, it will fight until I win (the outcome is never pretty) or it wins and I let it tell its story. She did let me put a shaw, spectacles, and a cameo on her, but that was as far as she was willing to go.
I've always liked this quote from Henri Matisse. It is a simple, bold statement that few can argue with. In the last six months, I've been learning the true meaning of this statement (or at least how it applies to my life).
There is a big step between someone who makes art and an artist, and there is a bigger step between an artist who makes work for himself and an artist who actually puts his artwork out in the world for all to see. In the past six months, I have been doing exactly that, and it makes me nervous.
When no one can see my work, it is only I who can see the flaws. To look at it critically, appreciate the good parts of the piece, chalk it up as a "learning process" and file it away for very few (if any) to see. Yes, I've had a website for years, but it was like any other young artist's portfolio; the best of what little I had, and held on to for dear life. Sadly, I'm not a young artist any longer, and the old work is stale.
So, the website was updated, newer work was posted (and still is) and my Facebook page is open for all to see (students, parents of students, colleagues, strangers). It frightens me, but I keep posting regularly. I did a 30-Day Drawing Challenge and whether that day's drawing was good or bad, it was posted. And through this, I keep going back to Matisse's words. It takes courage to be an artist and not just a person who makes art. It does take courage to put your talents out into the world, and do it over and over again. It takes courage to believe in your talents, your drive, and your skill. So this is me, attempting to be courageous.
Runs with scissors but doesn't eat paste
I'm creating this blog to show works in progress, stages of development, and oddball stuff normally unseen in the portfolio.