The Art World. Smart. Edgy. Elite. Select, successful talents exhibiting world-as-we-know-it-is-over kind of stuff. Who's hot? Who's not? Why? So much to respond to. And I appreciate that work.
But it's not my work. My work is anti-that. Standing in front of a big, blank canvas, silencing the stream of information, distraction, judgment, messaging, and tasking, just to see what happens, is my thing. Unplanned, spontaneous tapping of the well-spring. Trying to make something from as absolutely nothing as possible. Painting a picture made of unregistered experience, immediately unrecognizable as anything in particular. Attainment is variable.
To be honest, working this way sometimes feels un-American. I hear the anthems–How many paintings have you sold? What are you trying to say? How does it contribute to the Contemporary Art Conversation? I note self-doubt, guilt, and limits creep in just thinking about it. Shut up, already, you muse-slayers.
What I know is that for me, cultivating process over outcome is worth it. On that indeterminate, earthy trail, I encounter patterns, forms, and thoughts that are truer, deeper, and richer–the things that foster perseverance. And perseverance, not any single piece, or judgment, is what measures success. Anyone can make art, but will you do it again? And again? And again?
5 Steps to Becoming a Successful Artist
1. Take a risk.
2. Make something you want to see/experience.
3. Go ahead, be vulnerable and share it.
4. Listen, but don't obsess over response.
See additional views and details for the above painting,
Invisible Trails (Bee & Flower, Pink & Red) here.
Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her abstract landscape paintings cultivate connection to the lands she explores.
©2021 Michelle Louis All rights reserved. Content and images are property of the artist.