Thursday, September 6, 2012

Personal Definitions

I live by making my own personal definitions.  I think a life skill of mine has been acceptance, and defining what I need accordingly is the corollary.    As I have endeavored to become an artist over my lifetime,  I have redefined for myself what an artist is.   After all, don't we all have our personal definitions of what constitutes (or qualifies as) art?  I certainly do, and my definition is very narrow-minded,  for the bleeding-heart-liberal that I am about most other things.   But that's not my subject today.
            I've also defined and redefined success over the years. I've found it is the sure way to achieve success - you should try it!  Once, success in art would have been many sales.  Later, I decided, many awards. Not having achieved either of these, I've had to redefine . . . again.   These days, I'm measuring my success in Wall Hours or Wall Days.  This is a measure whose formula I have yet to perfect and apply, but has something to do with getting my artwork out of the house and hung up on someone else's wall.  In Wall Days, I've had an excellent year, probably my personal best.  Starting last fall with Florabundance (with Pat McGraw) at the Birmingham Unitarian Church,  I've had more work in more places for more days then any other 12 month period.  Success!!!
               This month my redefinition involves creativity.  No, I still have not managed to start any new paintings.  I've spent most of my summer days since returning from our cottage preparing to show work.  I've worked and reworked old paintings, photographed and rephotographed same, then framed and re-framed too.  All to achieve more of those Wall Days.   But, still, I am deciding that this too feels creative.  Mind you, I've had enough now, and am ready to start  stretching some paper and spraying down my pallette. But, this work is part of being an artist too. At least, per my (new) definition!
           The painting shown above (poorly photographed by me, I should have taken it to Eric Law!) is one that I had decided was a failure, and had consigned it to the scrap heap.  Generally, these eventually get gessoed over with white gesso and reused for cat paintings. In this case, I decided to rework instead.  This is one of the paintings that is now at Lawrence St Gallery - obviously I decided to define it as successful!  Come see it in person and tell me what you think!

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