It’s one week before the work for the Remax show needs to be finsihed, framed and delivered. And one week before my exhibition is open to the public. I am used to this feeling of panic rumbling somewhere behind the solar plexis. The anxiety makes my skin touchy. I try not to think that the body of work that I will put in this show may be the one thing that says who I am. The only thing. And that this may be my last chance to prove there is any value in what I have to say. Do I have anything to say? Will it be evident in the work? Who cares? People will look and decide if it goes with the curtains or not. No one is looking for salvation in the paintings–only me. And what if there is one painting among the whole that will be the definitive statement… and dammit, what if it is not right– and of course it is not— then that’s it!! The end of the dream, the end of—I don’t know what the hell it’s the end of. But it’s terrifying. Really terriifying. There is a part of me that is shriveling and shaking and on the verge of tears and wants to call the whole thing off. You may or may not be experiencing something similar, but these are the thoughts that creep into my psyche. These are the thoughts I will avoid this week. If you are feeling anything similar, I advise you to do the same.
This act of expression is not brain surgery. Its worldly impact is minimal at best. And its impact should never be under consideration in its making anyway. And yet…. No, I won’t go there. I will remind myself what I know to be true about the creative process. It is an act of self-discovery. I’ve said it many times–the painting process is the microcosmic process of living if it’s approached with an earnest desire to explore and understand. We wonder, we scratch and dig and risk in our attempt to connect to something more, something bigger, something that has meaning. It is an adventure. And as long as we approach it honestly, the end result will have a beating heart. That’s all we can ask for. We (I) have to let go of any desire for acceptance and fear of failure and put one brush stroke after the other.
The following is the first draft of what is to go in the Remax catalogue. I’m wishing us all a bon voyage!
Art in the modern world aspires to transcendence. Before the advent of photography visual arts had a variety of practical functions and its emphasis was imitating life. But once the need for representing objects and people could be satisfied with the use of a camera, artwork– including art photography–evolved into something more spiritual, more mysterious, more thought-provoking and emotionally fulfilling. The purpose of art-making matured. Art became for the sake of art itself—for how it can inspire and transform, not only the artist, but the viewer.
Rather than striving to show the audience a person, place, or thing, the art in this exhibition is more about the process. It represents the ‘footprints’ in a journey of discovery that, in the words of Marcel Proust, “…is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” The artists invite you to walk along with them.