now what

Scattered Time #74/100

This is the clock that has been on the drawing board for awhile, I just finished putting it together. I should be happy. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY

I'm grouchy. I still feel that I am a wick. I am doused with flammable liquid. But no one is striking the match. I keep looking outside of myself. The motivation. The spirit. I need to know that there is a point in making art. I know there are lessons. I know it soothes my soul. One would think that that is enough. One would think I would be so grateful to be in a few galleries here. One would think I would look at my 'solds' and feel such a sense of accomplishment.

A show comes up, I put work in. I sell. I see an ooh and ahh. And then it's over. The work is in there. I'm here. I don't get to see/feel/hear whats going on.

What the hell do I want anyways?

Sometimes I know it is good to know what you 'think' you want. It helps, if anything to pretend and believe that that will influence things. I gotta say, when I left Arizona in "03 I had no fricking clue where I would end up or what I would do. I had a fantasy about making art. What kind I had NO idea. I had about as much business thinking I would be an artist as the next guy.
And when I decided to stay in Vermont I had no idea still about anything. I could never ever have dreamed I would be living where I live, that I would have found a Tod as a friend, that I would be doing what I am doing. NEVER!

Which leads to this conundrum of what is next. If things keep going along at this slow painful pace I am going to implode to such an extent that I will in fact explode. I still don't know. Still don't know what I want. And even if I did that doesn't make it so. I drove around today for three hours on the back roads. Driving in a trance. A daze. Slow. Numb. Then I got into the big city (Burlington) and felt sickened by everyone. What are they all doing? It's busy. Cars everywhere. People buying and running around. It always shocks me how everyone seems to know where they are going and what they are doing. I felt like a little particle, floating aimlessly around. Purposeless. Alien. Lost.

I want to make art. Shut up and make it. Not so easy. Reciprocity of some sort needs to happen. More than the occasional sale. There needs to be more continual energy and excitement. I can't keep it up all by myself. That is the challenge I guess. What that would look like I don't know. Do you guys know what I'm talking about?


Karen Jacobs said...

I know what you are talking about... I know the feeling. I wish I could say that making art is all you need to be happy but that hasn't worked for me. Even with checks comin' round I still wonder "is that all there is?" The question is: if you didn't have art, what would you have? There must be more... something, someone that fulfills your reason for being. Art may do it for some, but I've decided that creativity of any sort would satisfy the same need for me. Anything that says: this is who I am, beyond making stuff that sells for money.

You make incredibly beautiful work... but it doesn't seem to make you happy. Could be that you are the type of artist that must be stressed and depressed in order to create... you always seem to come up with knock out gorgeous new work after these downer posts. If that's what it takes... so be it. I do hope (and think) you find moments when you experience extreme happiness just being who you are... focus, girl! You can do both!

self taught artist said...

I needed that.
I dont like that you confirm that making art isn't all you need, but it is good to hear from someone who is on the other spectrum of the art world. I can't tell you how important it is, at least to me, when you open up about your self and the whole art thing.

Art wont make me happy. Nothing outside of my self makes me happy. I know this. Art helps. It heals. I think it is bringing me closer to something within myself. Thank you for dousing me with some kerosene :)

Daniel Sroka said...

Who ever said that making art should be the be-all and end-all? Making art is a job. It's a thing to do. It can even be considered a calling. But only making art is not a Life. Art is a part of your life -- it's not the other way around.

What to do next? Well, I guess figure out what is missing. Describe what itches need to be scratched. Then go and find ways to fulfill them. Just don't worry if the things you find are appropriate for an artist or not. Not everything in life has to revolve around being an artist.

self taught artist said...

yes art is just a thing to do and i want to do more of it but something is missing and i dont know what. god, am i supposed to join something????

Daphne Enns said...

First of all. THat is the coolest piece that you've even made. I am in awe of it.

Secondly, if art was the only thing that made you happy then it would mean that the disappointments would be utterly devastating too. Admittedly this is how I feel sometimes too, but really somehow you and I managed to find happiness and satisfaction before we were artists.

Snort-join something...very funny. I'm not trying to make light of your feelings, but somewhere I'm sure that there are other aspects of yourself that you could be reviving.

Is it time to work on an art project with someone else. A long distance project...so that you don't have to socialize more than you want to.

I think that a lot of people find themselves numbed by the activity of everyone around them. It's hard not to see strangers as a bunch of ants going about their abstract business. I think that that's something that just needs to be tuned out.

self taught artist said...

thanks daphne...i forgot to ad that you can manipulate those sticky out things a bit and change the direction of them on the clock.

I still don't think I have articulated it well enough, I'm not able to say what it is about all of this that is bringing me angst....perhaps when I am able to do that I will really know what it is and do something about it.
I'm in a different place than most of you...i have no kids, family stuff, or much else to distract me and I am here, available to do art and have art be a part of my day to day all the time. It is what I believe I WANT to be doing. It is how I have set it up. some might say that isn't healthy. For them maybe not. For me it feels right. I need the back and forth flow. There needs to be a more constant funneling of what I am doing and it getting 'out there'. That is what I'm stuck on, how to find out what that would be so I can create it.

You are right though about most people probably do see everyone else as ants too. some days it just gets to me more.
thank god for daphne.
thank god for the other artists out there who help show me the way.

Impressions said...

This was a wonderful blog. Much luck with your art. It is so unusual. I am also self-taught, watercolorist, it's not easy getting your feelings across, but keep it up. You are unique!
check out my blog:


self taught artist said...

thanks impressions...welcome :)
and i'm off to check you out!

Steve Kane said...

Ah, fuck reciprocation and fuck trying to second-guess what the world thinks you should be doing. Purpose of making art = knowing that you made something cool... but not so cool that you don't believe that you can do better and so keep trying.

Recognition is a nice bonus, that's all. Hell, if I allowed happiness to depend upon finding reciprocation then I would have hurled myself into heavy traffic long ago.

Having said that, some hot sex every now and again would be nice but - meh - you can't have everything.

Ellen said...

So I'm late in commenting and now it might be all irrelevant, oh well. (took this long to formulate my thoughts). But I have felt exactly the same way.

I had this painting instructor in university, a world renowned artist, his paintings sell for tens of thousands of dollars. He's brilliant and his classes were fascinating. When I finally got to see an exhibit of his work, years later, I just stood there and felt odd. His work is great, but I thought, so what? it just hangs on a wall. And I realize nobody really cares what you do. If an artist is really good and topical, they may be talked about for a while, then it's over.

I think the purpose is stop searching or caring whether there is a purpose and just do and exist and be and carry on and know all the bad waves will pass.

I admire your candor, you have guts.

self taught artist said...

ellen ~
that was interesting to read your reaction to that 'great art'. I think the art, the process of it...the begetting of the goods, the making, the showing, the selling, are all just a vehicle for: experience. I'm not looking for purpose through it as much as needing there to be a flow and a richness to my life as a byproduct. At least I think thats what I mean or seek.