Sunday, March 27, 2011

The hard days...

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.

Little flock, 8x10 Soft Pastel on card

Shade Tree, 8x10 Soft Pastel on card

"Art is never finished, only abandoned." -Leonardo da Vinci

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