Sometimes art comes out almost effortlessly. You can sit down, full of energy, and pop out a piece of art quickly and without struggle. Last week felt that way to me. I was able to create several pieces in an afternoon, a quick piece at the kitchen table in the morning, another while my kids played in the yard.
Then the pollen came. For years I have made it through the Spring without any allergic downfalls...but this year, I have not escaped! My energy curbed by a heavy head, cue "the hard days": those times when art is a wrestling match, a struggle to create, when nothing comes easy.
A few years ago (well, probably more years ago than I care to admit), a man told me during a one-time conversation, in criticism of a statement I had made about waiting for the "right mood" to do art, that the mark of a "real" artist is if he or she creates art in any mood, even on bad days, similar to an athlete who pushes through the sport even when it is a fight. I remember being insulted, and thinking he was rather rude and pompous, but, as much as I hate to admit it, there is some truth in it. I reject his choice of words, because anyone who creates art is a "real" artist, whether they paint all the time or only when the mood strikes them. I also find it hard to compare an artist's process to basketball practice. BUT... I can get behind the idea that a "professional" artist, or someone trying to make a living out of art must learn to create art in any mood.
So, here are my two pieces wrestled out on one of my hard days. I had high hopes for the pieces when I formed them in my mind, but the execution was a struggle. I still have distaste for some aspects, but another "must" for an artist is knowing when to walk away.
"Art is never finished, only abandoned." -Leonardo da Vinci