I think there may be a general misconception by the public. They see artists like me, who tend to get involved in what we loosely call creative pursuits, simply plodding along. We go from one brilliant idea with a beginning, middle, and end. We pause. And then proceed to the next brilliant idea. Well, obviously most ideas are not brilliant. However when we are in the inspiration phase, sometimes we feel that it could be the best work we’ve ever done.
Surprisingly to some, there are a lot more lengthy pauses where we feel, not just uninspired, but scared to death there will be no more brilliant ideas. That the best we can hope for is to regurgitate the things we’ve done before, the tried-and-true, the successful (monetarily speaking). I say we and I probably should not. Because this is just the way I feel.
So that was a lengthy lead in to the feelings I am having right now. I can always go back to painting the themes that people seem to recognize from me. But that is playing it safe. And you don’t learn and you don’t excel by playing it safe. I’ve got a desire for change.
Then a painter like myself sits back and says, “All right so how do I not play it safe?
What do I do differently?
Do I change my theme, my subject?
Do I change my technique?
Do I get more rigid or more exuberant?
Do I paint larger or smaller?
Do I tell a story or paint a feeling?
Do I paint more abstractly or with more representation?
Is the best really yet to come? I don’t know those answers right now, but I have to believe that the best is yet to come.
Fear not! I will continue to paint, because I can’t not paint. And you will be the first to know if I succeed in becoming inspired again. And it may be in the realm of technique and approach rather than subject.
I know where I play it safe. I know when I am painting for the public. But I also know that I am not getting any younger and I do not want to be merely spin my wheels.
If I want meaningful I have to give myself permission – to experiment, to waste paint, to fail.
Wish me luck!