Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gutting It Out

"Mountainside Storm" by DJ oil painting on mat board 24x16

Detail

Detail

Detail

Detail

There is a conclusion that all creatives need to reach at some point. Some of us get there slowly, feeling our way through the maze. Some of us know it intuitively, arriving faster, and getting on with it.
What conclusion?
The knowledge that, no matter how many books you read, no matter how many classes you take, no matter how much research you do, no matter how many motivators or creative coaches you listen to,
there comes a POINT when you have to DRAG YOUR SORRY CARCASS INTO THE STUDIO and
just GUT IT OUT.
You have to actually put the pen to paper. Turn on the music and take the dance step. Focus the camera and click. Or put paint on the palette and slap it onto the canvas.
You have to wrestle with your mistakes, face your truths, and scrape off the paint, paint over the lessons learned, and do it again.
>Warning: Severe weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth may occur during this process.<
You have to make crappy paintings and do some little nothing pieces, over and over and over....to get to the good stuff.
The stuff that you actually want to do. For yourself.
So, yeh, I'm struggling just to get into the studio for an hour. And, it shows.
But you know what? I'm still fighting. I'm gutting it out.
Last night, I wrote a brief artist statement for Summer 2009. Then I read an artist statement from Summer 2008. BIG DIFFERENCE.
It's called growth.
Yay for guts.
Now, Go make something.
Love & Laughter,
DJ

7 comments:

Richard Shilling said...

There is a phrase that a friend of mine uses regularly "too thinky!"

Do you reckon you might have that affliction?!

Have you just done these paintings? They are very beautiful indeed.
Or are they what you are trying to do?

I am very lucky that stuff comes easy and I know when to finish! But perhaps you didn't want to hear that. ;-) I guess I should just appreciate the fact that it does as it may not be like that forever. I believe in the Tao - follow the path of least resistance. Gutting it out? No! If it ain't working put it down and try again another time. Go with the flow and and don't force it, when you are ready you will be or some such Yoda-spiel.

Anyhoo what do I know?!

Regardless - I love the paintings. And that is all that counts!

:-)

DJ said...

LOL~ Richard, I know you have stood for extended moments of time in frigid streams while swatting biting midges in order to create your art. And you have waited for perfect conditions of light & wind to photograph your work extensively for your new book. If that's not "gutting it out", I don't know what is...
{Hey, Folks, get Richard's new book. You'll be glad you did!}

Robyn said...

DJ, I'm glad you're gutting it out and producing brilliance...even though it might feel you have hiccups with the quick studio dashes. Oh for a looooong stretch of time to complete a canvas or 3 in one sitting, hey? Have a great weekend!

Gary Heller said...

Gutting it out or going with your heart and putting the rules down is something I really believe in.

i like all of these works here but the one that really stands out for me is the third one down. It is simply amazing. . .
My imagination has me picturing a couple of wild horses racing over a plain blurried by their speed and blending into the winds and the skies.
stunning work

DJ said...

Thanks for stopping by, Robyn, with your kind, encouraging words.

Gary, coming from a photographer of your stature, I appreciate the compliment.

angiew said...

i love your mountainside picture DJ, i wish i could walk inside it and spend some time amongst those lovely colours. And I always try to be as honest as possible, so you can believe me when I say I'm not being polite!!! AngieW from CCS

Melikamay said...

These are beautiful, and your post is so good! *sigh* Can totally relate to the days of average creativity just to tap into the days of something better. Very encouraging. :) Such a good reminder that it doesn't always have to be perfect to post it, because the point is not perfection.
Aloha