*This is one of my favorite posts, written in 2010 - although the art coaches I respect have evolved into more than event planners.
For artists, the Internet can provide access to up-to-date advice by industry professionals on how to develop our careers. Over time I've come to think of these coaching sites as event planners - providing information on how to conceive, plan for, and then implement a strategy to reach specific goals - the markers of our success.
But, over time, I've also discovered a problem with this approach. While Event Planning is useful, the narrow focus upon preparing portfolios, or writing artist statements, or approaching galleries emphasizes The Event instead of the non-eventfulness of everything else. Sort of like living an entire year focused on planning your next birthday party. All those months of opportunity lost by misdirected attention - living in the future when our lives are lived - must be lived - in the present.
I prefer to live in The Between. There is a grace that comes from learning this - living in The Between. There is a story about Agnes Martin that I love. She had been dragged out of her southwest studio and back to New York for a gallery show - a pretty big deal to those in the know. Her response to the question "how does it feel?" was to say that New York critics had already "discovered" her two or three times before and then had promptly forgotten her. I suspect Agnes knew how to live in The Between.
Sylvia White often says that being an artist actually describes who you are and not what you do. In that same vein, developing an art career should be thought of as living the art and not the other way around. Every day brings a new opportunity to find the unique insights bestowed on those who perceive through an artist's eyes.
This is living in The Between. Between the big events. This is time spent in your studio, or in your imagination. Caught up in your perceptions and, yes, in your frustrations. It's living in your confidence and facing your envy. It's your generosity, and self-conscious reluctance to let other people see your work.
Just as the richest color lives in that space between the light and the shadow, so do we find the richest experiences in living the art. In The Between.
PS: Clint Watson also posted an interesting article in his Fine Art Views Blog today (1/08/2010), called "I am the Contrarian Art Marketer," that also speaks to this topic. If you don't already subscribe, I would recommend it.
The painting Roses will be part of the First Annual Artists Guild Exhibition at Scottsdale Artists School.
Initial Exhibition Dates : January 27 through January 31, 2014
The Award Winners of this juried exhibition will hang alongside some of the most prominent painters of our time at the Legacy Gallery.
I am most excited, though, to be attending a 5 day workshop where I will have the opportunity to learn from David A Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, Jacqueline Kamin, Rose Frantzen, and Gregg Kreutz.
I would also like to express my gratitude for your comments and interest in this blog. It is hard to believe I have been writing it since 2007. This past year the frequency of the posts has lessened, but I hope you found the content worth reading and that it helped in some way with your own artistic aspirations. The key, as always, is to believe in yourself, and never give up.
Wishing you a prosperous, artfilled 2014.