The act of creating amazes me. Sometimes I have to really work to create something. These pieces seem to develop over time and take a lot of thought and questioning. I consider each decision I make carefully. Then there are the other times when the work seems to flow effortlessly and I hardly know what I'm doing. I just do it. Those are the pieces that to me seem inspired. Then I'll have to slog through 2, 3, or more of the first experience to reach the place where everything just flows effortlessly again. This can get discouraging. It's like reaching the peak only to have to go down and start all over again. I want the peak experience every time. I've come to realize though that art, like life, takes a commitment to work on through the difficult places. You have to be willing to create bad works of art in order to create a great one.
With Valentine's approaching I've been thinking about love and when I had the chance to create on Friday I did a light, sweet mixed media piece with lots of hearts (above). The entire process was a struggle. Nothing seemed to look just right. I think I painted over it 2-3 times at least. Finally I decided to give it a rest and I slapped a bunch of paint on some recycled canvases I had. Slopping paint is purely therapeutic and really that is where it's artistic value lies. But I was going to use these as backgrounds and really didn't care much about how the slopping went. Then the painting started to develop and became "true love..."This piece just flowed. It seemed to create itself- it was also a true reflection of how I see love now. The first piece was fun and sweet. This piece has a darker side to it. The text says: "true love comes only after we make the choice to be true to the one we love". I've been married for ten years to a wonderful man and I know now what I didn't know in the beginning. Marriage takes work and commitment not just sentiment and chemistry. It takes making the choice once those fade, and life gets rough to commit and be true. When I fell in love it was involuntary. Later, I made the choice to love truly.
So be willing to work when you don't feel like it. Be willing to make truly awful art. Trudging through those valleys, committing to the path, and then making that climb upwards is the only way you will reach the peaks.
Note: This was originally posted February, 2009- Enjoy!