Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Here is the only painting I completed for April. I did not reach my goal of two paintings per month for the first time this year. I have started another, and I hope to be back on track for May. I would say I should strive for three in May to make up for it, but I don't think that is a good idea. Everything that I have learned or read about art making suggests that as an artist, one must strive to make as much art as possible. The rationale being that of everything created, only a few pieces will be very good with the rest merely acceptable.
But this idea is easier said than done. It all comes down to how motivated you are to working. Sometimes the motivation just isn't there. I find this to be particularly true when there are no outlets for displaying your art. If no one seems to care about the art you are making, why should you make it?
On the surface, this may seem like an excuse not to make extra paintings for this month. But in addition to the motivation factor, I think that an artist must work at his or her own pace. To force things just to reach a quota will result in art that lacks meaning, imagery that is uninspired, and a glut of sub-par work.
The college that I work at has an annual event called Artsfest. Last year a panel discussion of four working artists was created to talk about how they work, and what it is like for them day-to-day. The common theme among all four presenters was staying motivated. They said sometimes the motivation to work on your art is lacking, and that it can be a real struggle to go to the studio. In these instances they all commented that it was good to get away from your studio for a while. They said to step back and engage in non-art related activities that you enjoy. This would keep you engaged and take the drudgery out of constant production. It was also suggested that these breaks from work would inspire new ideas and generate new ways of working.
I'm going to take this to heart. I spent most of this past month catching up on some reading, and doing outdoor things (it is spring, after all). I feel energized and ready to work, so we will see what this next month brings for me.