Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Art-ful Life
My practice of art is like anything else in life, waxing and waning, productive and not, adventurous and cautious - well, I'm not often cautious. Lately I've been caught up in my own busy-ness. I have no one to blame, really not even myself; it's just one of those times. The one bit of let's be sure what we're doing here revolves around ego - mine. Back when I still worked a real job, it was very possible for me to confuse being busy with being important, necessary, productive or whatever. So, when I find myself looking at the calendar and seeing that my next free day is ten days away, I need to be certain of why I'm scheduling myself so heavily.
And, I've done that. I've looked at every single thing I've put on the calendar between now and November 14 (and just try to schedule anything for me then) and asked myself if I truly choose to be doing it. Once I own that the answer is "yes" for each and every workshop, parent-sitting, and all the other stuff, I am certain I'm not playing either Ms. Important or Ms. Victim - no one is making me do these things. While there are differing reasons behind say a school art show to be hung and the sitting with a neighbor's father so she can have time off, the reasons aren't what's important. That would be the choice. The mere fact that each thing on my presently ridiculous calendar is my choice.
So, as I sit looking at my worktable where the painting I finished a couple of weeks ago still sits on the easel, it's OK. I understand that this is simply me being a participant in life. And, I often find that after a break from my art I return with renewed vigor. Again, like capital L - Life. Exercise, then rest. Eat, then digest. Wake, then sleep. I wouldn't want my practice of art to become production line in nature; so these times of withdrawal from the worktable are not just acceptable but likely necessary.
The whole thing is another of Life's little balancing acts: Not enough discipline and I'll never get any painting done; too much discipline and I'll become stale. So, today I go off to fulfill the choice I placed on this square on the calendar, and I'm content to be doing it.
Posted by Eddie McArthur at 6:44 AM