Saturday, June 05, 2010

Stepping From The Flames

If my recent blog entries lack the combative fire that ignited my writing a few months ago, it's probably because I've been keeping emotion in check. The precision of my large works in enamel requires me to be calm, orderly and disciplined. Unfortunately, my best writing occurs when I am not.
I have to regain the high productivity as an artist that I achieved a couple of years ago. It's not just because my output was reduced to nothing by my recent breakdown and there are a score of obligations that now need to be met. It's also because I've committed to manage every aspect of my career alone. If I'm to stage my own exhibitions in the coming year, as well as travel and forge new opportunities to exploit my art, I'm going to need, at a minimum, the financial resources of a modest gallery start-up – and probably much more. I don't have a rich husband or family wealth. My only source of capital is the value I've created over several years in my work.
I've rediscovered the intense satisfaction I had in my late teens, when I sold my very first works. Nearly all my paintings have a buyer even before they're completed – this has been the case for a few years now – so I have come to think of the process ending not when I make my final mark on the work itself but when the specialist freight handlers arrive to pack it carefully in the studio and remove it. As soon as a work leaves the studio, another is begun in the space it once occupied. At any given time, there are a dozen works-in-progress, in watercolour, acrylic and enamel, covering the studio's walls and floor.
Despite this fast-moving work-flow, words still ricochet around my brain. I am more fired up – and maybe even angrier – than I was a year ago. But I'm learning to tamp down this passionate intensity so that I stay in control, rational, and undistracted from my painting. It might make for boring reading but it's a matter of priorities: I'm an artist not a writer.

4 comments:

Melody said...

Seems to me you're both artist AND writer. Keeping the energy of one at bay in order stoke the birth of the other doesn't make you any less so. Much as we might sometimes like to, we can't do it all, all the time.

All best to you. Your passion is inspiring.

HKozan said...

I agree with Melody! I've enjoyed reading the older posts you've made that you've reposted on FB & Twitter. There's great value in reading about your progress, even if it's not in chronological order.

I am learning through reading about your journey as an artist. My goal is to become a studio artist also, but in a different media. I totally get what you're saying here. Doing it all on your own is a LOT of work! Don't feel overly apologetic for getting on with it. You can do eet! :)
Write when you feel the need & have the time. It'll be fine.

Di said...

Oh thank you!! I am so on fire at the moment but my passion is leaking out of me and into this Israeli/Palestinian issue these days and I can't find that tranquil .. no, that passionate place for my photography, or I think of it only when the subject is in front of me.

It's the self-discipline I still haven't learnt. I feel everything like acid on the skin some days, eating into my mind. I will read your words again. Thanks for the perspective.

L. Hatfield said...

I just stumbled on your blog and I am hooked. I love that you use the phrase "opportunities to exploit my art" Most artists are too full of themselves to say this out loud, although if we are trying to make a living it is what we all do.

I love the rawness and honesty!