Monday, April 30, 2012

art's servant

"Money should never be the judge of art, but its servant." Most recently I seemed to have made money my servant and the judge of my art.  I have to find ways to justify spending creative time when there is no profit. This isn't to say that being an artist has ever been received by others with grand appreciation - 'do you want fries with that?' has been a common response. Now that time is so limited, I have to make real choices about the kind of work I am doing. Is it for myself? For others? Is it possible to successfully make art for others?

For the most part children are unaware of the real value of money, time, and material things. My daughter is the best painter I know. She approaches the paper with vigor and excitement. She goes crazy with colors and "fingerstrokes" of paint. And then she looks at me, laughs and continues to mosey around the house, hands covered in paint, creating an installation of color!

No one has figured out how to make money art's servant. In the meantime, I am still trying to figure out how to best use my time, my creativity and manage the family's budget.

the creativity crisis

Art is losing its funding all over the country, the reason some of the kids I work with at public schools have NEVER used paint. Shame on us for taking away such a valuable tool. "Imagination" has the word "magic" in it. Imagination could save us from a world which lives by the lie that money is the measure of all. Some have deemed it "The Creativity Crisis" - children's creativity is in rapid decline.

Please, go by some finger paints!

Friday, January 27, 2012

a true poet?

"A true poet does not bother to be poetical," said the poet Jean Cocteau. And perhaps one could say that a true artist should not bother to be artistic.

I have been filled with a certain anxiety about my role as an artist. I question where I stand with my work now and, since becoming a mom, the level of which I exist as an artist. Some days I think how easy it would be for me to hang my hat up on art making, so as to relieve some anxiety about the process involved and the productivity I expect from myself.

This past month I took a very part-time job in hopes that a few hours of work would pay for two days of daycare and allow me to get back into the studio. The transition was much harder than I expected. Not only was I filled with guilt about bringing my daughter to daycare twice a week, but I began to feel guilty if I wasn't spending my time in the studio effectively. (Define "effective" in the studio?) Is all the trouble worth a gamble on whether or not my art will ever prove successful? Amongst laundry, crying, fevers, feeding, dirty diapers, and playgroups will I ever have the bandwidth to invest in a well thought out and complete body of work?

My horoscope this week says: "Don't you dare try too hard or think too much or twist yourself like a contortionist to meet impossible-to-satisfy expectations. Trust the thrust of your simple urges." Perhaps if I don't bother to be artistic, an artist (and mother) I shall be.