On Thursday I went to a panel discussion of four artists, at the Lyme Art Association. They were all landscape painters and as I had questioned in grad school why I used to paint mainly landscapes I wondered about their artistic intentions. I wanted to know how they connected with the landscape and what they hoped the viewer would learn from looking at their work. I was left feeling somewhat disappointed by their answers as I was hoping for more insight. There was only one artist that did widen my perspective. He described his work as a meditation for himself and hoped the viewer would find the same serenity he found with it. This reminded me of how my abstract paintings are a type of meditation for me. I am able to find a similar place of peace within my own work. Interestingly this artist spoke about the pathways that emerged in his work and how he intuitively would find them within the landscape. I went and talked with him after the discussion and shared how similarly, pathways emerged in my daily photos. He believed these pathways represented where he was going, where he had been, and the many ways you can get to a destination. This is what he wanted to invoke this with the viewer. I might have walked right by his style of work prior to hearing his thoughts and being able to have this connection made me look closer. I was grateful for this, as it forced me to slow down and consider the work in a fresh light. Here I am gaining perspective yet again. I am so eager to learn about the creative process and feel so grateful when opportunities arrive like this.
I also learned the importance of forming alliances with other artists from listening to this group which is what we have done through our friendship and constant sharing of ourselves artistically. They talked about reminding each other of upcoming shows, how they share information and the importance of getting out of their studios and not living in a bubble. The artists also stressed the importance of doing something EVERYday to foster their work. This could be simply making phone calls to promote it, or small movements on the work itself, even when you have little time. This conversation reinforced for me how it takes time to develop one’s practice. It has taken these artists many years to get where they are and we are just starting out. Another thing I learned was how they set goals for themselves and diligently worked to follow through on them by breaking things down into tangible nuggets. I have been think about setting concrete goals for myself along with sensible ways to get there. What goals do you have for your work? I wondered if we had any in common, and could break them down into small efforts each week to bring them to life? Just a thought on a snowy day…xoLaura