It's that time of year when holiday plans and errands compete with work for a person's attention. To remain calm and somewhat productive, the best solution seems to be to enjoy the change of pace and go with the flow, while simplifying things when possible. It's never an easy act to pull off. I always have a little grouchy, scroogey resentment towards the activites that distract me from painting. But I can also see that the traditions of the season are part of the lovely glue that binds family and friends together and they are important in this big picture.
The stereotype artist is someone who ignores or defies family expectations, who does not procure Christmas trees or stuff stockings. This person would likely be found in the studio on Christmas Eve while the rest of the family sings carols round the tree. This person is self-centered, a loner who drinks to excess and wears a lot of black.
OK, so I wear a lot of black. But please tell me if any of the rest of that applies to me and I'll try and mend my ways...meanwhile I have some Santa cookies to finish. My best wishes to all for a festive and refreshing holiday season!
When I paint, I'm aware of being both inside and outside of the work--aware that it comes from deep in my consciousness, but as an object it will be viewed by others without that reference point. In this way I'm a watcher or observer of my paintings even as I create them. And this element of detachment is certainly what allows me to exhibit and sell my work. It is by me and of me, but I recognize its "otherness" as well. My work (and anyone's work, I'm just writing in first-person here) has its own presence and identity in the world.
Maybe I'm getting a bit esoteric here...but I'm thinking of my upcoming solo show at Circa Gallery
. It's a shock, really, to see my very personal creations on public view when I arrive at the opening. All my solitary hours of frustration, pride, joy, deep thought and searching for how to express my true self...all of those stuggles, highs and lows are visible. It's really just a bit much, and I will admit to a strong urge to cover my eyes and run away screaming.
Fortunately this is when that sense of detachment kicks in, and allows me to go on in, meet and greet the people at the opening, and generally behave in a socially appropriate manner. I can look at the paintings objectively, almost as if they were made by someone else, a friend maybe...or someone I would like to meet. I'm sure we'd have a lot in common.