Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Art Blog: Confession

I have been thinking about this post for a long time. What I have to say is so complicated. My thoughts are a ramble of so many different issues. I am sure I will not be able to explain myself well in this one post.

I have been thinking a lot about personal responsibility. I feel that I am not the kind of artist I want to be because I have never worked to my potential. Yes, this is a long story. I won’t bore you. I just want to say it aloud because I need to hear it myself.

I think the last few posts encouraged me to come to this place. Even though I think my sugar cake LOVE paintings are cute and oh so marketable, I feel dirty. I look at them and other work I have done and think: “Sheree, you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing at all.” In fact, I feel like I have been living a lie for quite a few years now. I have been working small (and trite) to appease the market. Small works don’t cost much to ship. Small works aren’t difficult to store. Even the subject matter of my works is relatively simple (albeit nebulous to the person in a hurry). That hasn’t mattered to me because I just wanted to produce art. ANYTHING. Create something Sheree. However, I feel like I am not doing what I really want to do.

Today I watched another YouTube video. I watched the crowds. I looked at the gallery. I saw the work. I thought to myself: “Shame on you. SHAME on you!” I am not doing the kind of work I want and need to do. This is my own fault. This is where personal responsibility comes into play. I have been trying to fit into some kind of weird art marketing, internet, art for the masses bullshit. I can’t do this anymore. I have to figure out a way to create my true art. This is the kind of art that is inside me, but I think I have been too afraid to let it be born. Enough of this.



Kim Hambric said...

What a situation. Make art that will sell, or make art with soul. Can the two ever meet? Possibly.

I've been making happy little birds. I have started twelve, finished three and sold one. I'm not sure I can finish the rest. I am now doing something that comes from my soul. Will it sell? Will I add it to my own collection (drawer)?

I think our souls have to win out in the end.

I waited and waited watching that video -- I was just going to give up when I finally saw someone wearing red.

JafaBrit's Art said...

yep! yep! and YEP! The gallery has closed down, but you know it is amazing how the need to create cheap, small, possibly salable stuff creeps up on you and WHAM!
so here I am in the same place as you, looking at the video and knowing exactly where you are coming from.

Eero said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I made that same realization not too long ago. It came with the freight that the work I really NEED/SHOULD be doing is technically difficult, dark, and also very personal. I don't think it'll sell as well as the "lite" work I am making now....I am also afraid to put the really personal stuff out there again.

It's a tough path.

But I ask myself who I'm gonna be? Dead at 90 after making a lot of trite crap, or dead at 90, leaving behind a wealth of genuine, meaningful, honest art.

Easy choice, hard to do.

Best of luck to you, fellow artist.


deb said...

I think we all struggle with this, what to make, right now the choice is easier for me because I have a big solo show coming up and I want it to be new work and my name's on the wall, but more than sale-able things I struggle with practicality and using the world's resources and whether anything I have to say even matters to anyone but me and if it doesn't is that justification enough for my consumption? I hope you keep us posted as you look for your answers, and btw I loved the green pieces in the video, duh! because they had text and set my mind off spinning!

deb said...

Sheree, I was laying in the bath last night reading Anne Truitt's Daybook and I read this, and I thought this is what we mean...
"Yesterday intuition fell back briefly before instinct. My hand wanted to draw, to run free. Colors overran, line tilted, and without the same degree of effectiveness as Don Quixote going at the windmills. For one whole day I entertained the notion, which had been creeping up on me, of turning my back on the live nerve of myself and having fun.
This morning I am sober. I would be a fool to sacrifice joy to fun."

Sheree Rensel said...

For me, all this angst is not about money or selling at all. It is more about where I belong as an artist. I don't fit into the art marketeers (mouseketeers?) world. I just can't get into making art that fits into that world.
Also, I realize now it wasn't just that video that put me over the edge. It just happened I was watching that video when I went over the edge. I will talk more about this in a future post. I am not ready to talk about this yet.

Thanks so much for your feedback!

Sheree Rensel said...

I already know you know where I am coming from. I just look at your art and I can tell you get it. So what's are weez to dooze bouts its?

Just make more art, I guesses.

Sheree Rensel said...

You wrote:
"Dead at 90 after making a lot of trite crap, or dead at 90, leaving behind a wealth of genuine, meaningful, honest art."

This made me laugh. I wonder about this all the time. In some ways, I hope I know the day I am going to die so I can save my daughter the trouble and just build a huge bonfire out back. I will watch my life's work burn as I take my last breath. LOL LOL LOL

In regard to your quote: For me, it is hands down. I want the latter, for sure.

Sheree Rensel said...

It is strange you sent me that quote. There is one part that struck me:
".....I entertained the notion, which had been creeping up on me, of turning my back........

This part is so ironic to me because I am thinking of back peddling like crazy. I will explain in a future post. However, that one phrase struck a chord that is dead on to what I have been thinking lately.
You will understand when I get around to talking more about this.