15" x 18" collage on paper
Towards the end of July I decided that I was only going to post once a month to my blog. It seemed to me that writing about my work and showing it online wasn't working. I questioned if I would continue making art if I wasn't writing about it and if I wasn't showing it to anyone. I was very fearful that the feedback I was receiving was fueling the art making. I decided to stop blogging and to see what happened. Here is what I found out. Maybe it will help someone?
I learned that the work and the writing is connected but not exactly in the way I thought. The writing itself is important to me because it keeps me connected to actually making the art. It doesn't matter where I write so long as I write about my art in some way. I found that not writing gradually begins to lessen my interest in making art. Not only that but I lose clarity and don't generate ideas about how to proceed, about how I am progressing, and about what I want to do next. Writing seems to cement that process.
I also found that the writing seems to support the other interests that I rely on. Those outside interests, that often have nothing to do with art, feed the artwork itself. When I wasn't writing as much, I wasn't as aware of my interests and connecting them to my art, if that makes sense.
Lastly, I found that while I love feedback, it isn't absolutely necessary for me. I love hearing from people (and staying connected is very necessary) but in the end, that can't be the reason why I want to create. And it isn't. As a related point too, everything I read indicates that people have to see your work in order for the entire process of art making to be complete. I do believe this but don't know how to (or haven't tried) to address this aspect of the creative cycle.
It's tough. Writing isn't for everyone. It seems to be important to me though particularly in how it is connected to and integrated with my art practice, such as it is. The thought that I make art because I blog about it is scary. That idea loomed rather large in my mind and I didn't want that to be true. I am hoping that a month away from blogging has shown me that this isn't the case.
And in case anyone reading is wondering, the above piece was inspired by my recent trip to the mountains. California has a terrible problem with the trees, pine trees in particular. The drought has weakened them so much that they are greatly susceptible to infestation from insects. The insects are slowly killing the trees. You look out at the forest in a panoramic view and see spots of brown everywhere. And there doesn't appear to be an immediate solution in sight.
If anyone has an opinion on the above, let me know!
Thanks for reading and commenting.