Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Formality

A New Year seems like a good time to begin...

As an introduction, I would like to announce my use of this blog as a slightly more formal (and more efficient) way to publish not just my ramblings, but - more importantly - my experiences and thoughts on being a working artist. (I was doing this via Facebook, but I think this medium will allow for more cohesiveness... that's the idea, anyway.)

A few years back, I had used the journal-writing exercise as put forth by Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way." I put out about 2 and a half year's worth of writing (3 pages daily) until some difficult times intervened, and I stopped. Things are better, but I don't plan to revisit that kind of writing in this public format. This is not to say that The Artist's Way is not an excellent program - it certainly is. It got me out of quite a rut when I followed the proscribed steps. I have a different agenda in mind here, and it really revolves around teaching.

The Facebook profile helps me to keep in touch with students, and I've tried to implement a bit of teaching through that - but the format is a bit distracting for such efforts. I hope some of them (possibly you!) will visit here as well, for I want to offer to any who may be interested my knowledge and experiences in the art world, such as they are.

Berehaven is my Portland, Maine studio. It is a sanctuary for me as Berehaven's Dunboy Castle was for the O'Sullivans in time of war. Just like the great Irish Chief Donal O'Sullivan, I have more than one enemy:
  • The art establishment/critics, with their support of the nihilism and nullification of art, not to mention their crusade against beauty;
  • The balance between commercial and fine art, as my "day job" comprises the former, while my heart lies with the latter;
  • And my creative self, as there are times when it all gets a bit much - all this balancing - and the creative juices become a murky sludge.
It is in Studio Berehaven where I fight these battles. But, it is not all sturm und drang, as my language may suggest. Mostly, I am very pleased to be there, and I am able to think clearly about concepts, designs, and themes. I hope to transfer some of that thought here, and perhaps it will make them more concrete and bring some clarity. Or, perhaps it will inspire you as well! Let's see what happens...

1 comment :

Martha Miller said...

Hi Rob

About the art critic as enemy. My old friend Carlo Pittore quoted someone years ago:
"The art critic is someone who walks onto the battlefield once the war is over and shoots the wounded."

Love it.