Thursday, September 28, 2006

Art: Looking back

Sketch, Sept. 28, 1992
As I've been framing the 15 paintings for my show in Anchorage, I've been thinking a lot about the series I've just finished (is it really finished?) and others I've they have all lead into one another like links in a chain. I've been wondering what I was doing ten years ago, artwise, and so leafed through a few old sketchbooks.
This is what I found:
September 1992. I was twenty years old and in art school, totally pumped up about art and it's thrilling possibilities. I don't think I made a lot of 'finished' art back then, but seemed to be completely attached to my sketchbook, making several entries a day. There are a lot of small quotes from books I was reading and cryptic little lists.

Self portrait sketch in pencil, Sept. 20, 1992

Another self portrait sketch, this time in pen, Sept. 28, 1992

My current sketchbook---ideas for paintings, experiments with watercolor.

And what did I learn from looking back? Well, I can remember my total and utter belief in the power of art, my destiny to be an artist and my (naive) faith that everything in my life as an artist was going to fall into place. (That's a real knee-slapper, right there...)
I've since learned that art is a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of organization and dicipline. The 'life of an artist' hasn't been as fun and easy as I thought it would be. I now know that education really was the key to my success, and I didn't hold onto it and use it for all it could give I should have.


I still haven't stopped being an artist. I was then and I am now. I don't have the pure belief anymore..."nature's first green is gold" and all that. I think what I have now is something like petrified wood---jeez, doesn't that sound awful?---hear me out, though. What I had then is still within me, just hardened by fire and time to something obdurate and unflinching. (Okay, maybe not 'unflinching,' I mean, I have a good cry after a bad review just like anyone else...)
Don't we all want some real, hard, bedrock upon which to rest our beliefs? It's settled, it's's learned a lot. Yikes, am I talking about me here, not my art? Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

Darla, Pencil Portrait Artist said...

I feel very honored to be able to peek into a bit from your sketchbooks. I know they are a personal thing. They're like a diary.