Adventures in being a “Real Artist
The important thing here is that I’ve started. I’m notorious for telling myself “I will do that tomorrow” and believe that, tomorrow, I will do the thing. Maybe coffee helps, maybe food helps, maybe company or a good documentary playing in the background, but until I manage to sit down, tell myself that “today, I am doing the thing. Right Now. I’m putting my phone away and doing the thing, see?” I know that I’ll put it off until “tomorrow.” So, this is me, doing the thing (after I post on Instagram… Ooh an email. Let me check that text… No! I’m putting the phone down).
Once again, I am faced with the task of writing my Artist’s Statement and bio. It’s maddening. In the past five years, perhaps the best of my attempts read along the lines of “I know nothing—I just paint until it’s not bad anymore.” I want the work to speak for itself, but just as paint and canvas want to know each other, the artist and the observer want to connect, want context.
Oh, the glorious post-it note! Now the table in front of me is littered with colored squares; notes, blurbs, arrows and general scribbles in small piles that add up to my most recent artistic efforts and struggles. “I know nothing.” “What is art?” “Orange.” This is just one of the many exercises I am playing at in the week before this show. It’s been awhile since my last art show, and any words that were once useful need to be polished, prepped before hanging, and adorned with uppercase letters and punctuation (thank you, team, you help me write good and make sense and such). No matter what I manage to scrawl out for the show, I know that the real answer is “I know nothing—I just paint until it’s not bad any more”.