7/22/07

Funny thing being an artist. Not having any road map or real idea the path that I am on I find myself constantly fighting with myself whenever I am not making art or knowing what to do next in regards to showing it.

I have been in a vile mood. Few people know it or see it, in fact everyone who I happen to have contact with seem to think I am just dandy. I look healthy. I laugh. I smile. I am not self absorbed and am quite capable of having normal conversations. I find myself feeling like a fake. I have dealt with depression my whole life and never used to hide it; I bared my soul. Now when I get hit I seem to have this ability to smile while inside I'm screaming. No one cares after awhile; I don't even care honestly. But it is a bump in the road and things feel like they have come to a complete STOP. Just a few weeks ago I sold six clocks....just a few months ago I was in a three person show at the gallery I am in. All in all it has been a better year and I have doubled my sales compared to last year. Heck at this rate I might end up having to file taxes for the first time since I quit massage!

The moods still come and go though. It is hormones. It is living conditions. It is just who I am. I do what I need to do, and I sometimes lapse and just have to tread until something 'clicks' and I can start swimming through life again. I fight with my childish thoughts.....wondering if I never wrote another blog post would anyone even notice? If I quit making art would anyone care? That isn't the point of making art, but when you are smashed to the ground like tar, you sometimes need to know that someone cares an iota about what you do.

I went to the gallery opening last night. God knows I didn't want to, but they do have my work up and aren't I the one always touting how artists need to go to openings? What I realized is this, and this may just be because this is a smallish community, but rarely do people know who I am or seem to care...they all just stick together with the 'knowns'. Never am I introduced to anyone by the people there and I float around just like everyone else. In a few gregarious cases I do manage to rouse up the energy to force myself onto people if I see them looking at my work.

There is a huge struggle in me about art right now. I continue to feel sickened by all the 'stuff' that is out there in the world. My eyes roll at canvas after canvas of the same watercolors and oils. It is almost always the same painters in the gallery with the same thing. It isn't much different online. And why do I even care? I need to shake myself of this 'looking outward' obsession. I am to the point of not wanting to make anything. No desire, not a drop of creativity. I feel a vague repulsion just thinking about how the world has enough already. Doesn't it? I am not feeling like I know where I fit or belong in the art world. In the human world. I'm sure most of this is just those negative corpuscles swimming around in my head.

I am aware that artists go through self doubt. I am aware that there are always going to be setbacks and hurdles, but me thinks that you also do need help sometimes. Even the lone artist needs reassurance...a 'sign'....something in their darkest hour that gives them a modicum of hope that they aren't just wasting their time; what that would be I do not know.

7 comments:

Daphne said...

Hey Paula.

I'm sorry that you still find yourself in a depression. What can I say to help?

First of all, please keep making your art. I respect your work and would honestly buy it if I were in a position to do it.

I check in every day because I enjoy our conversations. I care.

Secondly, I think that most artists fall into periods where they can't plumb the depths of creativity because of all of the other stuff (depression) smothering it.

Is it possible for you to try a different approach in the meantime? Maybe work in a medium that you don't use as often, something that can be done loosely, even angrily?

I have two approaches to painting. One is very carefully planned out and precise.

The other one is for when I'm so frustrated that I would like to throw things or go to my car, keep the windows closed and rant and rave by myself. Instead I grab a big brush and just go at it.

I know that we can't fix your mood with snappy suggestions but I thought that if I didn't annoy you with my suggestions then at least you've seen that I would like to help.

Nellie's Needles said...

I believe there are many of us "out here" pulling for you ... your personal life situation as well as your making art. You are good!

self taught artist said...

thanks for the comments..means much, I dont want to have a negative blog but as you've said b4 nellie, life isn't fair and ya can't always be happy (I added the later)
daphne...I'll email you and spare the bloggers the ramblings :)

BlueJude said...

Darlin' you surely are not wasting your time...you literally sold time! In a beautiful way! Me thinks, you should go easy with yourself, and stop thinking so much. All is well.
My art journals usually are able to pull me out of whatever uneasy place I'm in. Maybe you should give it a go.

Tori said...

I really enjoy your art and I really enjoy you words. You are honest and brave and talented and I really hope you hang in there.
Is there anything I can do to help?

Clare said...

I would definitely notice and be upset if you never wrote another blog post, and I would definitely care and be upset if you quit making art! You have a really special talent and your sensitivity is part of that. But being very sensitive can also be painful and overwhelming at times, so take care of yourself and do lots of nurturing things on a regular basis. I'm sending a bunch of hugs.
:)

self taught artist said...

tori just keep writing great blog posts :)
appreciate everyones' nice words/thoughts.