Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Making Art

I believe that Robert Motherwell once wrote that he wished he could be living and painting in an earlier era, like way way earlier, like in the age of the cave paintings of Lascaux. Back in a time before there was any such concept as "Art" (note the capital A). Back in a time when creative, artistic self-expression was present despite so called "primitive" life circumstances, thus affirming that art is something essential and intrinsic to being human. One can imagine that in such a time there wasn't a whole lot of froo-frah about what is or isn't Art, or what makes real art, good art, great art, bad art, childish art, etc. (I could be wrong of course; perhaps there was a selection process for getting the best space in the cave.)

When there were no museums or galleries (just cave walls!) and no gatekeepers of the art world to say, "Yes, you're in", or "No, you're not". (Actually, I'm glad there are museums and galleries most of the time, but I trust you know what I mean.)

Of course in my experience, the gatekeepers are not just potentially out there but are also quite actively "in here"--meaning, in  my head! The jury is interminably in: "No, you can't paint that way. People will think (or know) you're just an amateur." "That's not art or (depending on the day) not good art, real art, or just plain art)."  "You're just playing with paint.""You can't do that; that's not real painting." Blah blah blah. Ad nauseam.

And when I'm in my right mind (which is somewhat  but not altogether different from being attuned to my right brain), I reply:

"You know what? Who cares? All I know is that I'm happy making art (at least when I get out of my own way). And if sometimes my art is also happy-making for someone else, all the better! So for now, I'm not going to think about great art, about museums and galleries. I'm just going to make art that makes me happy and dare to share it and trust that it may help someone else to feel happy, too. Not everybody, mind you; just somebody. And that will be plenty."

1 comment:

Jan said...

"All I know is that I'm happy making art (at least when I get out of my own way). And if sometimes my art is also happy-making for someone else, all the better!"
YES! Go, sister, go!