The importance of advice
by martin davis artist
It has been a strange Summer. My art practice has been patchy, partly due to other pressures (domestic & otherwise) and partly down to my own damned awkwardness . Trying to think about my painting I slip into overthinking it. Then I overcompensate and try to clear my mind completely as I paint, stream of consciousness stuff, which I find I can’t do. Then I get irritated that I can’t produce the right mind set as and when I want. For anyone who thinks this is easy IT IS NOT EASY! at least not for me. I guess in my more sanguine moments that is why when the balance between thinking and creating is just right it is soooo beautiful….it can’t last which is why it’s so special when it does happen and you just have to hang on to it as long as possible and make the most. What do they say? carpe diem/make hay while the sun shines ..trite but true!
What I have to keep doing is paint no matter what, and hope the beautiful thing happens sooner rather than never. In the meantime trying too hard and getting some kind of mental constipation does zero, zilch towards achieving anything worthwhile. Bloody hard though – I just want the best, the best, the best!! One of the reasons my output has always been so varied is exactly for this. To help keep me, artistically speaking, on my toes and stop the dreaded boredom gaining a toehold.
Well I can tell you I have been on the end of some rather frank and forthright feedback (I asked for it) recently by a gallery owner which has made me take stock and re-think this approach. Is constantly painting different stuff getting the best out of me really? or is it just whimsy on my part? up until he spoke to me I had always resisted it. gotta protect my artistic purity you know & not prostitute my art blah, blah, blah! but for the first time I have acknowledged this “dark” side….I can focus on one aspect of my art rather than continually chopping and changing without some unforeseen catastrophe befalling me. Well I can at least give it a serious go and see what it produces. So this might be the importance of advice, something freely offered which might just jolt me out of my hiding place and make me consider what I might produce if I focus.
I guess I do need at some point to find what I am best at. I can’t go on ignoring advice and pretending I know better without at least putting it to the test. So as an early NY resolution you will be seeing me producing more of this sort of thing –
just to see if I can hone my skills by a prolonged period of focus. I may need my other areas of interest just to give me a break but the main thrust of my practice will be as above for the foreseeable!
Wish me luck! I hope it works.