Friday, March 6, 2009

Self Absorbed

Here's a question for you. Are we self-absorbed because we are internalizing most of our time? And are we internalizing most of our time? I know artists whose work seems to tell the story of wha's around them, i.e. landscapes, seascapes etc. Self portraits seem to be in a category all their own. Some is just flat practice. Then as we evolve to more abstract shapes with unrealistic subject matter we express through color and shapes. Clearly emotion comes into play with somewhere along the way viewers feel they can tell if we are happy or sad (at least some people review it that way). I've had some of the strangest opinions about my "mood" or my feelings in a painting. But I think what I'm speaking of today is watching the self-absorption take over work; spread outward to friends and family. I know that I'm a painter who let's the painting work independent of me my opinion. I don't feel the need to control all the aspects of the work. This is the time I can be free of control. Freedom is synonomous with painting for me; I'm not sure where the self-absorption comes in for me. Maybe in others' projections of artists.
When I was a mother of small children I learned to discipline my time for my art. My metaphor was fliping a switch. Since I'm a product of a creative family art in some form was part of where we lived. My children are creative as children tend to be so it has been a natural progression to be as artist, just as I'm a mother or a female or an American. One or both of kids were in my studio puttering or painting. One wrote several books at 7 years old with illustrations it always dazzled me how clever children are. When I went in the studio painting or sculpting was for my purpose, child's play too, I'd flip the switch as I advanced the stairs toward my space, by the time I was there I was ready to paint or create. Multitasking at it's best. Parenting is the same you flip the switch to the needs of the family and/or your job. But when it's time for studio you are you. Your child's best friend. It sounds like we give less to our family I'm sure that's not the case; "self" is many things family is extention of self. Too much "single mindedness" is definately self absorbed. Not enough "self" makes the work inferior less whole or balanced. I've seen artist's work who stopped just short of a great work, not enough "being". We've all seen this; the work that tells too much, won't leave some mystery or interest. More self-absorbed than needs to be. These works are so overdone they strike me as insecure artists afraid the viewer won't see them. It's the art work that suffers through us. I may be naive but I feel there is art and creativity in all of us. In every person, some expand it, some ignore it and some use it for bad purposes. I choose to live through it and surround my "self" with it and like minded people. Just as we choose friends who are balanced "as far as you know" :) We look for art that resonates with us. In this respect we mirror who we are with the artist's work that speaks our language. Are we speaking to a self-aborbed self or a balanced self?SR

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