Sunday, October 17, 2010

Where is your artistic work leading you?

When you live in the Northeast US, there’s a definite shift as autumn arrives and the explosive reproductive energies of summer cease. The cooling temperatures signal a drawing down of life energies into root systems. Green grasses begin to bleach, dry out and turn skeletal; pods form, bursting with seeds for the next season’s growth.

As the days grow shorter and colder, Nikki and I have been sharing about ourselves via e-mail. She combines textiles and organic porcelain sculptural works to create pieces that have a wonderful presence.

She wrote that my blog shares a lot about my physical processes, and she greatly enjoys reading about those, but she wonders about my inner self. What is it you want from your art, she asks -- where would you like to see your work going?

Such powerful focus questions. And they deserve to be considered by each artist.

Yesterday, I wrote her back a long response. Now that I’ve had a day to think more, I want to try again.

What is it I want from my art? I want to infuse each work with palpable energy, joy and confidence (that is a tall order!).  Being a maker is a compelling process and adventure. Being true to my vision provides a deep connection to a powerful energy inside me and creates a yearning to keep returning to it.

Being a maker also provides the challenge of alchemizing an idea into form. Choosing to birth an idea is an amazing, unpredictable process.  Who wouldn’t want to navigate those hairpin turns again and again when we KNOW the destination is so worth it.

Where would I like to see my work going?  Nikki says her work is more internally driven and feels complete without an audience, even though  she is pleased when others respond to it positively.

In contrast, I feel that my creative work is a form of communication, an invitation to connect. It feels more complete when I put it out into the world, when it stimulates questions or interest in the ideas and creative process that so engage and inspire me. I want to work on ideas that will make my work more interactive, more of a conversation with the viewer.

Do I desire visibility and exposure? Absolutely. My goals are lofty and I believe that whatever we desire we can create if we let go and just allow ourselves to believe it can (releasing and allowing is an ongoing learning process!). I desire my work to be exhibited in museums, art galleries and curated invitationals.  I’d like it to be reviewed positively by art critics and editors and fellow artists. I’d like it to stimulate fascinating collaborations and  be included in private and public collections.

Might we just say that I want it ALL, bejeweled and sparkling in the sunlight, even though I know that if I attained every single item on that list it would just cause me to set new, even loftier goals?

Will I be just as happy if I never achieve any of them? Definitely. The joy in my doing and the resulting growth and experience are expansive, exciting and rewarding in themselves. But why not dare to be bold, think big and believe in our worth and uniqueness and trust that the whole universe will rally to support and attract and open every door for us effortlessly? If it happens for others, it surely can happen for us.

So now you have seen a glimpse of my inner workings, my dreams and hopes and desires. I am ever a work in progress and delighted with all that suggests. Ever growing, ever evolving, ever exploring my inner and outer worlds.

What of yours, then, of your own dreams and desires for yourself as an artist? I hope they are grand and glorious and delight you to contemplate.


  1. Boy can I relate to your paragraph about "navigating those hairpin turns again and again"! That is what it is all about for me...thanks for sharing your thoughts...

  2. Thanks for commenting, Jill, I'm glad you can relate to these thoughts.

  3. In contrast, I feel that my creative work is a form of communication, an invitation to connect.

    Me too.