Thursday, August 12, 2010

painting clouds

Illinois happens to be a wonderful place to study clouds. Thunder heads collect in stacks and crowd around each other for miles towards the heavens. Great cotton ball puffs, with such wondrous dimensions, shadows in the crevices of so many shades of blue and a curiousness of childlike fantasy that never escapes me.

I recently met a man who is at some grand level of chess master. He told me that to become an expert master at anything, one must log 10,000 hours of practicing this thing before a master level can be reached. Now considering all factors involved that night....beers on his part and exhaustion on mine, I thought about this idea for awhile and it followed me home, took up residence in my mind and has yet to move out. What I keep wondering is how many hours of art/drawing/painting/sketchy doodling/projects of creation/etc. have I logged throughout my life time? Will I ever reach an expert level of artistic talent? Does this same idea apply to talent? Maybe this is what Herb meant when he said after 30 years I would get there. The thing about this idea that captures me is that is makes me want to strive to reach this 10,000 hour mark of effort put into my art. I want to have 30 years of experience to look back on and say that I, Me! I did that. It is the process that I am always in love with. The feeling while creating that is ever so addictive. If it is the process that I love and not so much the result that I focus on, then I should not be detoured from myself ... I am what holds me back 90% of the time. It is a strange form of masochism that I put myself through, denying myself the pleasure of artistic productivity and the enjoyment of fulfilling my own creative needs. I wonder if this is another common affliction of the creative beings world wide. I feel I have been doing this with holding of happy creativeness from myself my whole life. It starts as procrastination... then slowly convincing me that I have a type of writer's block for any ideas on what to make, and then a sort of guilt is followed. Usually the guilt is something about what "needs" to be done versus my free time allowed to create is not as important. I seem to prioritize my way out of the studio and into boring adult tasks of mundane responsibility. Then there are things like convincing yourself you need a break from already extended break and the couch shows, movies, shows...they all compete for my attention and I gladly submit. Naps are a big problem for in I take to many for too long and feel too sleepy after waking up to really do anything. ALL of these reasons and I have not even mentioned the self doubt factor of "am I wasting my money on materials?" ..."will this ever sell?"..."am I even good? or original at all... who likes this, HONESTLY????"
Now I can't complain anymore. I just need to talk my self down from the ledge of artistic suicide, which is giving up. Even if I am terribly awful and talent has left me...I must keep trying. I feel that every medium of talent and every person in a creative pursuit has this moment of doubt. I am not alone here... supreme confidence seems ungraspable in this profession....right?

*Inspire me world, I dare you*

So in a diligent effort to learn more and stay with the art world I have been reading up on my favorite movement - Surrealism. The book "The Surrealists" written by Laura Thomson, an art history professor at the University of Sussex is what I am studying at the moment. It is a look at the specific works from well-known and not so well-know surrealist artists. A breakdown of each piece is given to explain surrealism as a whole. After reading "A Moveable Feast," "Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass," and then "A farewell to Arms" all with the last two months, I feel that I am perpetually stuck in the early nineteen hundreds. I have discovered time travel...
Now with Surrealism and I seeing art in that time. Of course I already covered some material from this time in college (Art History BA, after all). But since it is my favorite, I am rather enjoying covering old and new material. Sounds cliche I am sure, but I have to say that Dali is my favorite. I also love Miro and Ernst. And I feel their last names should be their first names instead...they fit better.

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