Saturday, September 8, 2007

Pearls and Tears

Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work.
James Lee Burke

Today there are pearls and tears. I had my first rejection today from the gallery show I'd applied to. I had thought I didn't care that much about whether I got in or not. I really fooled myself. It brought forth a lot of mixed feelings and questioning about this artist quest. But then I realized this is a good thing, because it makes me look at the path I am pursuing. When I started studying photography a couple of years ago, it was because there was a voice that had been growing within (you might say it was screaming at that point) and insisting on being given a way to express how I see world. For some reason, photography seemed to be the main tool for that expression. But I found that traditional classes didn't fit how I learn best and there was limited time to work on some needed skills, i.e. darkroom time. So I moved to digital late last year. It has been a period of flexing/strengthening muscles, crawling and now I'm beginning to learn to walk.

At first I thought it would be enough to share my work with some chosen friends and family, but I've discovered that no it's not. There are also questions about this need to share; am I doing this for money, for fame, to have people experience my vision of our universal existence or for the ego thrill of it? Not to mention there is so much to learn. As I indicated earlier, I've barely learned to walk holding onto furniture... so I have to continue learning the technical skills needed and then there are the issues of what do I want to say...how do I say it best... When I have refined my skills and vision, I will try again and explore options on how to put the achieved work out there.

Robert Genn, a Canadian painter puts out a twice a month newsletter on creativity and in August he wrote about "Difficult Passages". In it he shared some thoughts which I found wisdom in after today:

"Degree of difficulty may just be an artist's best friend. Think of the struggle evident in the work of Rembrandt--light, chiaroscuro, composition and surface quality, all mixed with psychological power that grabs.

Imagine developing skills so profound and distinct that no one else comes near. It may be difficult, but it just might be worth it. Here are a few possibilities:

Identify weak areas and self-workshop them.
Repeat unique methodologies until they are mastered.
Explore personal nuances and make them yours.
Push on when you're pushing your limits.
Trust in ideas and follow your intuition.
Find out where your new strengths are.
Learn to be your own challenger and advocate.
Know that quality is always in style.
Don’t worry if things turn out to be commercial.
Laugh on the way to the bank."

It's drossing time. And I'm going to have faith and continue to say, "Yes"!

Andreas Vollenweider: "Pearls and Tears":


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