This crazy insight was a total shock. I was tired and frustrated. I am struggling with my art right now in a way that has not been rivaled in my over 30 years as an artist. The past year has been comprised of making stuff, throwing it away, painting over it, or keeping it and hating every time I look at the finished work. I have been trying to figure out what is wrong. It became clear as day last night. As I laid on the couch flipping through the channels, there was nothing of interest to watch. Rather than turn off the TV, I settled on a VH1 program called "Behind the Music". This episode was about the musician/songwriter/producer, Linda Perry. After a few minutes I was hooked. Just the way she looked drew me into a world of awe.
The bio show was terrific. Then it ended. It was followed by a show called "Make or Break: Linda Perry Project". I didn't change the channel. I didn't feel like looking for the remote. So I watched. This is a kind of off the beaten path version of an "American Idol" type show. Linda found musicians around the country and wanted to mold them. Ultimately, the prize will be a contract with Linda Perry's record label. OK, whatever.
The show started and of course, there were bunches of young musical brats running around a mansion prepping for the showdown. Ms. Perry would call each into her studio for a type of initial audition/debriefing. One of the first young things was a man from the NY subway. He would play for his food. He was a really great musician and singer. However as he sang in front of the mic, Linda kept yelling "FIRE, FIRE, I want to hear the FIRE". The look on this young guy's face was heartbreaking, yet informative. He sang great. He sang what he knew. He just sang what was familiar to his heart and boring for the rest of us. That's it. Linda Perry recognized this. She saw his potential.
She wanted MORE.
As I watched this kid struggle, I got it! I watched him sing the same old songs as he looked down at the floor. It was almost as if he was going through some kind of rote maneuvers. I bolted up from the couch. This is what I am doing too. I am painting verbatim. I am making art in some kind of rote memorized way. I am not giving anybody the FIRE.
I need to get a lighter.
Thank you LINDA PERRY.
Thank you Linda Perry!
Click pic to find out more about this great show!