It’s hard to believe that I have been writing this blog for over eight years now. It’s become part of my process and provides me with a place where I can go into greater detail about the work as well as receive instant feedback. The post below was written about this time seven years ago when I was still unsure about the value of the blog to my work.
Silence is as full of potential wisdom and wit as the unshown marble of great sculpture. The silent bear no witness against themselves.
I’ve been scratching around in the studio for the last few days. Straightening up a little, putting things in their places. Taking inventory, as it were. Seeing what materials I have on hand and what I’m short on.
I do the same with the creative side of my mind. I take this time, as I’ve noted in the past, to look back at the year and the body of work I’ve created over this period. What have I done? What is strong and what needs to improve?
One thing I’ve done in the past year is the continuance of this blog. It’s done far better than I ever expected as far as readership and it has become a big part of my morning in the studio. The feedback has been great and I’ve taken a lot from the comments and e-mails received as a result of this blog.
But I still worry that this provides too much information about a subject, painting, that often communicates best without words. I still fear that the impact of my words and thoughts will never add up to anything near the sum of my painted work and, as a result, a seed of doubt will be planted. A doubt that makes the viewer question their own view of the work. If I speak and write and eventually expose all my flaws and deficiencies, will the work still stand up?
As Huxley said, the silent bear no witness against themselves. There’s much to be said for that. Maybe the silent artist allows the narrative surrounding their work to form on its own, to grow beyond what they themselves may be. I can see that in some cases.
But I’ve found that I’ve always wanted to control the narrative around my work. To not let it be spun out of my hands. So I talk and write.
For better or worse…
The inventory goes on.
November, 2016: You can see that I was still debating whether this writing would overexpose my personal flaws and deficiencies to the detriment of my work. Looking back now, I have reached the conclusion that this hasn’t injured perceptions of the work– my flaws are evident in the work even without my writing about them. I’m good with that. And any worries I had about controlling the narrative of the work have also been unfounded. I can push it in certain directions but ultimately the narrative is formed between the work itself and the viewer’s mind.
As it should be…