August 21, 2007

Looking For Self...


There's nothing like putting up a recent painting for the blog world to see then want to hide in a corner. This is not a critique on my last painting, though I'm tickled with the effort, I realize it's a series in progress and the 'thing' I'm looking for won't show up for maybe another year of rigorous pursuit. The reason I bring it up is that I came across a Robert Genn newletter, gave it a quick scan and these words popped out and like the V-8 commercial, smacked me on the forehead:
"Never explain to others what you intend to do.
Never submit half-baked concepts to anyone.
If you make written notes beforehand, don't leak them.
Start work first and self-workshop further development.
Sanctify your working space by limiting interlopers.
Cover up serious projects until they are well along.
Learn to be your own best counsel and private advocate.
Do not be concerned when you talk to yourself."
Ross Penhall

This idea isn't conducive to chatty blogging about one's artistic endeavors but it does have a good point. One that I've usually adhered to over the years but tend to wander away from on this forum. My original intent for this blog was to focus on how I got from there to here... in 30-40 easy/queasy years. But blogs (at least from my POV) are like journals and talking to one's self (last line of above quote) about what we are currently trying to achieve comes naturally. Even if I was certain no one was reading this, my advice to self would be, like Ross Penhall's tattoo sez: "Shut up and paint." along with the sage: "Never complain, never explain."

6 comments:

Jacie said...

Karen, that last landscape you did, whether finished or not is so far, completely interesting. The tree to the left makes it so, as does the fabulous wiggley ink lines (and I do mean fabulous)and it looks like you you planted some slightly abstract shapes and some texture in that tree. Very interesting! Hope your summer has been wonderful!

Steven LaRose said...

I'm bristling, and yet, of course, I get it.

The "shut up and paint" ethos makes for a bad blog. . . sometimes.

That Ross Penhall sure can paint.

Thanks for the tip.

Olga said...

Yes, this blogging thing is a double-edged sword. Although it is fascinating to see how folks' work develops, the interest is just as great if told after the fact rather than before or during.

Because so much of what is great that comes out of us is instinct and a result of 'being in the zone', I sometime think that thinking keeps us just outside that zone. And verbalising puts us just that little bit further away perhaps?

Anyway, thank you muchly for the reminder to shut up and get on with it!

KJ said...

It's just one point of view and I don't know that his painting is all that wonderful... which is merely another point of view. This might be worth digging around in a little more... but first a road trip...

CMC said...

I read that and thought about this a lot. I haven't blogged since but not because of reading Genn's post. I guess in some ways I don't care if people know how I work and I don't mind sharing ANYTHING I do. BUT, that said, I'm kinda superstitious about saying what I plan as it seems like to me if I plan or count on something too much, it never comes to fruition. So most of the time I stay MUM on this kind of thing.

Steven LaRose said...

I've been thinking about this more then I realize. I want to do a post about it. I don't think I agree with something. What it is, I'm not sure. Is it the romantic notion of a "tortured soul" that bugs me? Or maybe how selfish "shut up and paint" sounds?

Here is my new barometer of quality:

Can I do that?