Expecting Results Leads to Soulless Art.



I took a walk in the desert yesterday. I was overcome with the urge to be in nature and do some sketching, so off I went, through the jungle that used to be the desert...what? Well, with all the rains from this winter/spring, the desert has come alive and is exploding with vegetation - some plants coming up I have never seen in the 18 years I have lived here.


Anyway, after a short walk, I found the spot...I set up my shade and blanket and quickly began to draw. I was discouraged in a matter of minutes...this has been the pattern lately with my art, I have the enthusiasm but not the ability. I put the sketchbook down and began to ponder this. Over and over again, I have been running into this experience of forgetting to remember a few key elements of this artistic journey, such as, being in the moment, drawing or painting without the thought "will this sell?", not striving for results. At that moment it popped in my head "Expecting results leads to soulless art". I flipped open my sketch journal and wrote this under one of the sketches I had become discouraged by - a reminder.  So, I relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, without expectation or time, and doodled.  I felt a sense of peace as I made my way back home. We have a tendency to build unnecessary pressures for ourselves that become impediments to that which we love and were driven by in the first place. I found this in Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" and thought it pertained...

" I had my choice when I commenced. I bid neither for soft eulogies, big money returns, nor the approbation of existing schools and conventions.  As fulfilled or partially fulfilled, the best comfort of the whole business is that, unstopped and unwarped by any influence outside the soul within me, I have had my say entirely my own way and put it enerringly on record - the value therof to be decided by time." ~ W. Whitman

To stay true and integral to oneself is at times very difficult, the desires to want to please can be strong, to be liked or recognized. These things when mixed with art make for a nasty concoction. So many of our loved artists from the past were in their time ridiculed or dismissed but they stayed true to themselves and that stood the test of time. Something to think about anyway...

Comments

M.M.E. said…
I couldn't agree more. You have to listen to your inner self and not think about what will sell. Be always in the moment. I really like your blog and can't wait to see what you post next.
Kaia Thomas said…
Thank you, M.M.E!

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