When Life Imitates Art.

This Blog will soon contain images of pieces of my artwork that will be available to purchase so, if you are interested, ‘stay tuned’, as the saying goes. Why are there no images available right now?  Because some of the pieces are still incomplete at the time of writing and I have no desire to post images of incomplete work, or work that is in no fit state to look at, because it is being worked on and bears little resemblance to what the finished piece will reflect.

So, if I am not prepared to do that with my art, why is it that I am prepared to display myself, when it could be argued that I am as  ‘unfinished’ as some of my art is right now? A great many of us do this and, while working on my art, this very thought struck me.  So, in today’s Blog, I intend to use art, and some of the processes utilised in creating art, as an analogy for some of the processes we utilise in structuring, perceiving, and working on our own lives.

I am a firm believer that we are in control of our own brushes, pens, and pencils.  I do not believe that some external, omnipotent presence holds these things for us, and guides our hands.  We are in control.  Some of us may have more ‘natural ability’ than others, but that is a moot point.  It is what we do with what we have that matters, and it is how we react to what we have, or do not have, that matters even more.

We all learn to create art in many different ways.  We are taught, either by others, or by ourselves, or we learn through a mixture of these two methods. We observe others at work, we ask questions,  we experiment, and we go on to create.  There are moments of frustration, there are also moments that artists call ‘happy accidents’, there is joy, fun, pride, satisfaction, sadness, anger, and any other myriad emotion and thought that occurs during the creative process.

But what happens when the art you create is flawed in some way?  Let’s say that you have made a mistake in perspective. You have learned to create in a particular way and have produced piece after piece of work with the same flaw within it.  You have never noticed this flaw. I mean, you learned about perspective at some point in time (or maybe you didn’t!) so you go on to produce piece after piece, completely oblivious to the fact that the perspective is off.  Now, at some point in time, you may realise, all on your own, that your perspective is skewed.  Or, you may not.  So, what happens when someone else points out that your perspective is off?   For the sake of this Blog, let us say that the perspective in your art really is off.  So, what do you do?  Your reaction to the news is entirely your own choice.

Are you going to argue that the perspective is not ‘off’ in spite of the obvious? Are you going to say that the other person is just cruel, rude, ignorant, or just as flawed, before going on to point out how their art could be improved?  Maybe.  Some artists are very temperamental like that.  It is your choice.

Are you going to simply ignore what has been pointed out to you, and continue to create the same pieces of art with the same flaws within them, time after time again?  Maybe.  Again, that is your choice.

Are you going to throw your hands up in the air and say “That’s it!  I cannot do art!”, and give up?  Maybe.  Your choice.

Are you going to get angry and say “Hey!  This is the way I do art.  If you don’t like it, too bad!  Accept my art for what it is, or just go away!”.  Choice.

Perhaps you will simply make excuses? “Well, I was self taught, my paint brushes are cheap, no one understands how hard it has been for me!”.  You could certainly make that choice, yes.

Are you going to grudgingly go on to create art in the future with the perspective altered in a formulaic way, simply to ‘please the masses?’.  Some people do that very thing.  That is your choice, too.

Or, are you going to have a look at the perspective problem objectively, understand it, recognise it for what it is, and work diligently towards fixing that perspective, because by fixing it,  it actually makes your own art better?  Your choice.

If you opt for that last choice and act upon it, you must be prepared because, the next time you go to draw perspective, you will have to fight the habits you have built up over time…until you create a new habit. But, believe it or not, it is possible to create new habits. To say that it is not possible is nothing more than an excuse to avoid having to take control of yourself. It takes work,  and some artists have an aversion to work, but it is certainly possible to achieve.  How can I say this? Because I have practical experience in this and because, as I said at the beginning of this Blog, I believe that we are in control of our own brushes, pens, and pencils. That is my choice.

Our lives, like our art, are creative processes.  But, unlike art, I do not believe that we are ever ‘finished’ working on our own lives and improving on them, until we die.  The minute we feel our lives are ‘finished’, then they are…in one way or another.  And our lives, unlike our art, cannot be kept under tarps and away from the eyes of others until we are ready to unveil them, because unlike art, our lives must be lived.  They are not a static image, frozen in time, to be put on hold, and kept hidden while we work on them, until we are ‘ready’.  If we are living life, we must work while we live. We cannot hide under tarps.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with taking time out to reflect, and learn, and apply ourselves to our tasks.

So, where have I been?  And what am I up to? I have not been around much of late…

I am working on my art.

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Filed under Observations on Life and the Universe as I See it.

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