no instructions. no gps. no map. no paint-by-number numbers. no light-up-the-keys guidance. nothing.
from here to there. blank to image. silence to sound. from nothing to color, timbre, tone.
we begin with maybe a wisp of an idea, maybe something dancing in our mind’s eye, something teasing us, encouraging us, perhaps goading us, “start it.” artists choose whether or not to follow the spur.
i know there are times i don’t listen. i ignore the sweet pining of the piano, a soft, nagging voice from the studio. sometimes it is just impossible. impossible to answer. instead, scoffing at the mere suggestion, i walk the other way. i find something that seems more constructive, that has a tangible reward, that doesn’t necessarily feed my heart but where i can actually see what effect finishing “it” has. it’s a product of a culture that does not financially reward artistry. despite an immediate synchronized turn to the arts for comfort in times of struggle and need, when you google “how hard is it to make a living as an artist?” this is what you find:
“Making a living as an artist is hard to do. Making art is hard to do. There are lots of limitations. But limitation is an important tool in the creative process so you can use the fact that it’s hard to your advantage.”
i have a very few experiences painting. the times i chose to paint were absolute – a call and a response. i had no second guesses, no real concern for the finished product, no worry about how these pieces of art – outside of my own medium – would support me.
i suspect my piano was insanely jealous…there i was, in the basement, wildly throwing paint, when all it asked me to do was stand by its side and “start”. there i was, in the basement, feeling, when all it asked me to do was breathe all i felt through it once again. there i was, in the basement making art, while it sat silently imploring me to make art.
i can hear it calling. i know i’ll someday listen. but first. first i must see the wisp of meaning.
©️ 2020 david robinson