Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Art Blog: Authentic Self

I can feel it coming. I can actually feel it. I have been working on this for so long. I have planted the seeds and nurtured it for decades. I smile, look down at the earthy soil, and know for sure it is about to sprout.

I have always had this weird fascination with elder, female artists. If you read this blog, you already know I am a total Ruth Gordon fan. She is the actress who played Maude in my favorite movie ”Harold and Maude”.

In the art world, I have always been fascinated with Agnes Martin. She is gone now, but I admired her over the last twenty years of her life. She was a brilliant light.

Then there is Clyde Connell. I have a few videos in which she speaks. There is something about her demeanor and words that always sends me into a heavenly bliss. She is so right on despite the odds. I loved her. I love her still.

Recently, I discovered Maria Lassnig . She was featured in the January 2009 issue of Art in America. Oh shit! I read the article and wished she had been my mother or at least a neighbor. We could have gone to lunch and just talked. She is my newest hero.

You might wonder what all these women have in common and why I am so enamored. What is the common thread between all these mentors? It is simple. I want to realize my authentic self. I want to be the artist I am meant to become. They have shown me the way. They all have or had the BALLS to keep going and making their art. It didn’t matter to them what others said. Their age didn’t stop them. Their life experiences enhanced their art. I like them because they are my kind of people. They are the true celebrities of the world. They are the ones who just kept going and doing what they know they have to do. To me, that is a bird’s song. That is the reason for all this; for everything. That is true, true life. I know for sure, I am going to get to this place.
I know it.

Maria Lassnig, “You or Me”, 2005, Oil on Canvas
I love this painting. I get it! Oh, do I get it! How can you not love someone who paints with this much truth? Go Maria! I love you!

I forgot to mention the QUEEN of my elder mentors: Louise Bourgeois! In this simple, BRIEF, one minute film clip, she says exactly what I am thinking in this post! Thank you Louise!


artconstellation said...

Great inspiring art and post. THANK YOU!!!!!!!! And yes, you will get there. You are already on your way. Jenny

WEE-HOO said...

I'm looking for my true self too. It's the year of the Ox and that's me... so i'm thinking this may be my birth year of sorts... also... not used to looking at that naked female part... lol

Miriam's Art Journal BLOG said...

Love this post.....checking out all your inspirations.....thanks!!


JafaBrit's Art said...

oh my i just love that painting, and I went to your link and I can see why you like her.

I think you are already authentic though, but maybe like a lot of women artists struggle to maintain it. There are so many forces against us being authentic.

Sheree Rensel said...

Thanks for your comment. Oh, I know I am on my way. I have been on my way for a very LONG time! :-)

Sheree Rensel said...

I think most of us are in continual pursuit of our better self. I hope you are right and this will be your year.

The funny thing is that the search never really ends though. I think I have made huge strides "finding myself". However once you think you get to that place, there is more to discover. The search begins again.

Oh about the "naked female part". It is OK to look at it. It is a natural object. LOL LOL :-)

Sheree Rensel said...

Thanks Miriam! :-)

Sheree Rensel said...

I KNEW you would love that painting!!! I knew it. I knew it. I knew it! LOL LOL

It is so sweet that you think I am my authentic self. I think you are right in some ways. My personality and attitudes reflect my authentic self. However, I really don't think I have gotten my art to a point where it reflects the TRUE ME. I think there are little hints of me in any one of my works. However, it hasn't come together yet. It will though. I think it is about to emerge. I HOPE. :-)

JafaBrit's Art said...

LOL! you got my number, but you see yes, I am a fan of alice neel, lucien freud paintings and treatment of the human form. I like Maria Lassnig because there is attitude, a statement.
I understand what you mean about true you in art. I wonder though if we ever really get there to our own satisfaction or it is something we continually strive for.

Anonymous said...

For some time I have been aware that many women artists are only finally recognized for their "true self" (how about true talent and influence?) when they can no longer in any way be seen as an object. The artists you mention follow this out...


Sheree Rensel said...

OMG! I never, ever thought of it this way. You are so right though. I think that is why I finally feel like I am making some kind of progress. However speaking for myself, I realize this perception goes both ways. Just today, I was thinking about how free I am to do or be whatever I want without all the baggage that goes with being a young, female artist. Thanks for this insight. I am going to think more about this and write about it. :-)

Eva said...

I see it all the time. Both Agnes and Louis got on the radar when that part of the conversation (how does she look and would you have sex with her) is off the table. When the conversation can stop being about what she wears and how she functions as an object, she gets to become other things. (things of course that she always was...)