Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stay the Course

A friend of mine shared this picture containing a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson on her FB wall, and there was something remarkable about the timing when I saw it...

Because I had just received another rejection letter from another show, this only a few days after losing out on another opportunity as well.  When that happens several times in a course of only a few days, you not only question the work you've done in the past, but the plans you have for the future.

I have a series of paintings that I have started, based on the Main Street in Woodstock where my studio is located.  I love the scenes, I love taking the photos, seeking out interesting environments and cool people to capture in everyday settings.  I think it could be a great series of paintings, and I'd like to turn them into a book.

So here's where the courage will have to come in: can I stay the course, even if people are negative about the series or don't see what I see in the paintings?  It's a project that could take over a year.  I' haven't work on a series that long since Grad school.  And I'm going to need funding and support to buy the supplies, the studio time, and the first run of books.   I will have to believe in this series enough to ask for the monetary help to support it for a year AND I will have to have the courage to follow it through.

I posted on my FB wall not too long back that I was getting frustrated by the fact that the "right" set of eyes has not set on the "right" painting yet.  Whether it was a juror for a magazine contest, and on-line competition, or even a local juried show.  But the responses that so many people gave me really changed my mind, and my attitude: so many Eyes have seen the right Painting, and it means something TO THEM.  The Art connects with them, brings them Joy, and Inspiration.  Those are the Right Eyes.

And, I came across this quote while reading a book the other day:

"When I say I hate time, Paul says
how else could we find depth
of character, or grow souls?"

Mark Doty

(As seen in "On Beauty" by Zadie Smith)

and I had to meditate on the fact that Time is probably what I need: Time to find depth in my character, in myself and in my paintings.  My Soul needs to be nourished, and therefor, my paintings will be nourished as well.

I may think that my paintings NOW need to be seen, rewarded, lauded and printed.  But with Time - what new depths will I achieve?  I am going to try and enter fewer shows, focus less on winning accolades, and focus more on pushing my work.  It will take Time.  It will take Courage.  I hope to have enough of both.

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