As I reported last time I blogged, my creative well has been dry of late. I have felt that something was about to happen, but it was coming much too slowly for my taste. I am visiting gallery and museum exhibitions and reading about art to become inspired. I also look at a lot of art online but nothing really spoke to me until I watched the first episode of "Work of Art: the Next Great Artist."
I had TiVoed this program and decided to watch that day because I was feeling particularly low and needed some pleasure, some amusement, whether it related to art or not. I was pleased that they had done a good job with the format, at least in my opinion. I was prepared to not like it and was pleasantly surprised at the diversity of artists and the opinions of the judges. The first challenge of the competition was a portrait of one of their colleagues. There was a 13 hour time constraint and they worked in what I can only describe as a dream studio with what appeared to be a private art supply store, aka artist heaven. My only complaint was I wanted MORE. More of the previous work the artists had done, more about their thinking and process, more time on the screen for everything. We artists are a visual lot, we need a longer time to SEE things and examine in detail.
About half way through the program, I threw back my blanket (I had been cocooning on my bed wrapped in a blanket, no energy whatsoever) and sat upright, (light bulb over my head). I suddenly was full of ambition and ideas. My lethargy was instantly gone as I realized I had what I had been looking for. The Art Faeries had spoken and I, too, would meet each challenge that the TV artists were doing. I would take each assignment and follow it, on my own, to the best of my ability. This would get me out of my artists block, my slump, my rut. I would do all 10 (!!??) projects and see what happens. My hope is that I will be inspired by a new media, a subject, a process, an assignment that made me think outside my comfort zone.
My next thought was, oh, no the first project is a portrait and had not done one in awhile and had no interest in doing so. Then I said to myself, oh well, if you are going to do it, you will have to do them all. (Good-by comfort zone.) When I told my creative partner and fellow blogger, Carlynne that I was doing a portrait of her and why, her first question was "Are you going to set the same time limit?" Oooh, leave it to her to cut right to the heart of the matter. My answer was, well, uh, .....no. My purpose is different than theirs. For me it is not a competition but a way out of a creative dry spell. I also have a life. While I would love to be in their position, living in a hotel in NYC and doing nothing but making art all day on someone else's dime, I live in a town called the Real World. (Why do they always call these "reality shows?") I am assuming that the artists on Work of Art do not grocery shop or even cook for themselves, and I believe the extent of their chores is brushing their teeth and showering (optional). I, on the other hand have other obligations, too many. So, I am going to try to do most of each assignment in a week, but if I take longer, oh well.
I will document my journey in this blog and fill you in on all the (gory?) details. This is my commitment to you, dear reader:
1. I will work each project as described on the TV program to best of my ability to acquire the materials and equipment needed. When necessary I will improvise with something similar.
2. I may not take every project to final completion before beginning another, but I promise to show all results here, even if it's crap. (I really hope you appreciate that one. Rest in peace, comfort zone.)
3. I will try to describe my technique as well as my thought process as I go along and I welcome your feedback. In fact, I would love to hear from anyone who decides to accept this challenge with me.
Well, there you have it. Oh, about the photo above. A blank canvas. For us, that is where it all starts. Wish me luck.
Peace and creativity,