Wednesday, February 4, 2009

sticking it out...

when you begin to stray. As an artist-teacher I am constantly viewing a wide variety of art. Often times to my detriment. You see I have a hard time sticking to one thing when it comes to art. For the past seven, yes seven, years I created art glass windows. At first I really enjoyed making them, then it became a source of income. I tell you what, when that happens the life and excitement of creating in that specific medium is lost. And that is one of the various reasons I moved on.

Anyway, I would classify myself as an "all-arounder". I am fascinated by all types of art and therefor, like loads of other artists, I try to use the ideas, techniques and mediums I see other artists using. Once again, this can become a problem. It's as if I have some sort of creative ADD. Its during these times when the work I am trying to create really starts to become more of a chore than something of enjoyment. I have to constantly remind myself that I am not called to be like the artists I admire. Just like Ritalin, there are some remedies for my disorder. First of all I have to quit looking at art for a while and stick my nose into my sketchbook. This allows me time to regroup and think ideas through. Or I can grab a paintbrush and lay down some marks.

My time in my sketchbook is often times associated with prayer. As I am thinking, sketching and journaling I am also trying to stay in tune with the concepts and ideas God is leading me to. This is where things become complicated. Kind of like when you ask someone to elaborate on some thought or issue and their response is "'s complicated". And it is.

There is a constant battle inside me concerning money and message. Often times I get caught up in the mode of the business mind set. The "will it sell" line of thinking. Man, that can really sap the life out of an idea. The reasons for this are varied and some are obvious. Can I make a living at this? Will it support my lifestyle? Will I be able to pay the bills? The list can go on and on. But there is something bigger than money. The message.

Over the course of the last year and a half to two years I have had this constant reminder that it is not about the money. Oh, if it were only that simple. It's not about the money. I just keep saying that to myself. Some days I am better at accepting that than others. It's about the message. Message? What message?

God has been, and continues to challenge me with this concept of message, meaning, and question within the artwork I create. I have heard Him, but I don't always listen. Let me back up for a minute. Several members from my local church, including myself, were involved in a book study that focused on finding and developing our gifts. About mid way through the study we each completed an extensive survey/analysis concerning our gifts. For the sake of time, after the survey was completed I really felt challenged by God to reevaluate the way I have been using my gifts with visual art. I felt this leading to create art that engaged the viewer beyond just the visual presentation. I believed, and still do, that the message is where its at and the money will take care of itself. Today...I accept that.

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