Monday, January 12, 2009

Art Blog: Eye on the Prize

Flashback to THEN:

The fifteen-year-old Sheree is lying on the floor of her bedroom. There are paint tubes strewn all around her. While Jimi Hendrix music bounces off the walls of her room, she paints some lame ass picture of a cat’s eye. She makes the eye melt by pouring turpentine all over the painting and letting it run down the surface of the canvas. Ohhhhh. Psychedelic! She thinks that is so cool.
She is in art heaven.

Flashback to NOW:

Since I am in the constant pursuit of a better me, I started making fitness videos again. Little Sheree is alive and well on You Tube. I had to revive her. I love her so much. Also, she represents a type of alter ego that makes me smile. When I watch her videos, I am reminded of my good attributes.

So yesterday I made a video about getting back into the habit of exercise. After hurting my leg two months ago, it is almost back to normal. There is no excuse not to get back into my fitness routine. I went bike riding for an hour yesterday afternoon. I had a blast. It gives me time to think. Also during these bike hikes, I actually feel joy. I feel this extreme, intense happiness and fulfillment. I love that feeling. I want it all the time.

The feeling I get after a good workout is the same feeling I would get when I created paintings back in high school. I would feel so proud of myself. I would be so focused while painting, the world could collapse and I wouldn’t have known it. I was in the art zone. Now, I get the same feeling when I exercise. However, I don’t get this feeling while making art anymore.

While riding yesterday, I thought long and hard about this. Why are my feelings about art so different now? The answer is simple. Back then, I painted for the sheer love of painting. I was so na├»ve. There were no exhibition deadlines. There were no juries or curators. There was no fear of judgment. Competition or critics didn’t exist. There was nobody’s ass to kiss. I just wanted to paint pictures.
So I did just that.

Then I asked myself "How can I get that mindset back?" It would be difficult because my mind is so polluted and jaded. However I truly believe if I just put all the art B.S. out of my mind, I might be able to capture some of this feeling of joy again.

I have to keep my eye on the prize.

In my case, the prize isn’t a big show or art accolades from some critic who I don’t really respect anyway. My trophy is doing what I love and finding a very rare, pure happiness. For me, that would be the art prize of happiness.

Focus Sheree!
If you do this, you will get your grand prize!


Anonymous said...

It's so easy to get side tracked or be influenced by other things that we loose sight of what we wanted in the first place.

namastenancy said...

"Hold on, hold on - keep your eye on the prize." Great post with a reference to one of the great songs of my politically active, marching youth