Saturday, May 30, 2009

Overcoming an artless past

I read in Transitions - Unlocking the Creative Quilter Within (Andrea Balosky) that "after years of focused, committed, hard work, artists go on to create with less blundering. Eventually they approach their work with impenetrable awareness, having developed and refined those instincts that best foster the expression of their ideas. Their point of view and the ideas that extend from it are enmeshed with their execution. It's a fusion which, in retrospect, we label visionary. The concept and the delivery are synthesized powerfully as one and the same."

Note, however, that it takes "years of focused, committed, hard work" - probably a generalization, but true for the most part. I can't let that generalization discourage me, for though I have years of a relatively artless past, I know that I have good innate instincts. My lack of years of focused, committed, hard work results in a lot of blundering. I am unsure from one moment to the next of my final goal - but, nevertheless, I enjoy the journey. My philosophy is, and has been, that a true mistake is very rare. Most "mistakes" can be capitalized upon to result in surprising and even wonderful works, many better than the original idea. I would not ever want to be without these surprises.

What may appear to be self deprecating is more of a defense mechanism to onlookers who can't figure out what on earth I am doing. You might hear me say, "I goofed. I always goof." The friend nods sagely or pats me on the top of my little pointed head to keep me from feeling bad about myself, not aware that I don't feel bad at all - I'm just acknowledging for their benefit that I've been ambushed by circumstances for which I am responsible. It may also be that I am avoiding answering questions.

I goofed. So what? I move on, excited with possibilities for fixing the goof. After all, the piece is no longer what it started out to be. It's something new that will grow on its own, unfettered by plans. The original intent has been sidelined, and behold, a new thing is born.

I lack technical skills that many artists have, because up until recently I have been focused on child rearing, housewifery, farming, and teaching. For instance, I don't have the drawing skill I would like. Drawing is a talent I once had to a degree above the norm, but I have not developed it or even kept it warm in recent decades, and that talent was buried where moth and rust doth corrupt. Use it or lose it, they say. But this kind of lack is not overcomeable. I can work around it, work to improve it, or both. It's a whole new adventure.

To infinity, and beyond!



BioFueler said...

I am still a bit awkward with the proper use of these sites but I know you understand that we are all on a learning journey.

Do you see whether the philosophical undercurrents relative to your "artless past" apologetics spill over into other life experiences and/or journeys?

What you articulated as your defense mechanism might well be a "style" well developed well outside of art or lack thereof!

I and others have an entirely different view of your "artless past"!

LynnDel said...

There may be truth in what you say. :) The point of why I wrote, which I probably did not make clearly enough, is that the uncertainty I experience is common. I can stand here in my little creation zone and say, "I am not alone!"