Search blog...

Feb 3, 2010

Art is not a Race . . .


Art is not a race! I often find myself reminding my students of this truth all too often. Usually because a few of them believe they started out too late, or had been derailed by a life commitment unrelated to art, and now they felt anxious about picking up the brush again. As if there wasn't enough time remaining on the clock to become the kind of artist they wanted to be. 
     Well, I'd say, we could look at what we do as a race – if we choose to do so. But then we'd miss out on a lot of the joy to be found in discovering we are better at painting now than we were back then.
     Besides, if 'Art' is a race then where is the finish line? Within our view? Over the hill? At a distance so far removed that anyone who starts out late will never arrive? And who are we competing against?
     I say enjoy the journey and all the friends we make along the way! If art is supposed to be about 'Life' – and I would argue that it is – are you or I supposed to race through it to get to the end? I hope not. If so, you can win.


I like to hike with a lot of different kind of folks. Up into the mountains and down many trails. We'll get off into the brush and before I realize, I find myself lagging behind. Not because I'm tired, or burning out, or unfit. Because I stumble across something I want to get a better look at and I pause to take it in. The others in my crew may be out for some rigorous exercise or want to make good time. Me? Not so much. I'm out there to ramble around and discover what is, in fact out there. So it seems like a good idea to slow down and enjoy the view.


I think this is true for the artist's journey as well. There is no finish line. Just the going.

Thomas



5 reader comments:

Karen E. Lewis said...

Thomas,

What a nice thought, and so easy to forget

Karen

Thomas Kitts said...

Thank Karen, I speak for myself and no other for the following, but in my twenties I wanted success and fame in the form of being an artist in the worst possible way. While that desire drove me to work hard, and challenge myself, it also made it difficult to live a real life since everything I did or thought about somehow had to be connected to moving my artistic efforts forward. Not a bad thing on its own, but there was something about that attitude which prevented me from growing as an artist. I had to live more and get knocked around a bit to understand that art isn't about that at all.

At least my art isn't.

T

Michael Orwick, Orwick Arts said...

I say enjoy the journey and all the friends we make along the way! If art is supposed to be about 'Life' – and I would argue that it is – are you or I supposed to race through it to get to the end? I hope not. If so, you can win.

Love that. great stuff.

Thomas Kitts said...

Thanks, Michael. And it was nice to see you and your family at your opening last Friday. Your little daughter was so cute in her dress. Hope your wife took great pictures at the father/daughter dance.

Michael's work: http://michaelorwick.com

Thomas

Quin Sweetman said...

Well put, and I also hike like you, taking my time to look at everything.