To those who've lost their art muscle. Maybe you no longer feel like you can shade the bosom of a woman or recall the correct ratio of turpentine to oil. The smell of oil paints and printmaking rooms, how regal and hypnotic. Your hands are so clean and nails so tidy. You have no self evidence of creating. Your sweat and tears are saved on a screen.
Remember the stains and calluses? We work so hard for these battle wounds, spilling our love overabundantly within our art and mediums of choice. These badges are reminders of who we are and of our creative process.
I purposefully don't scrub my hands completely clean. I always hope someone will notice the titanium on my elbow or alizarin crimson on my cheek and wonder, "Is she an artist?" This is me taking ownership of who I am, it keeps me on the path of creating and putting in the work.
Don't you miss the romance? The ephemeral beauty of our creations keep us connected and grounded as artists. Our ancestors are speaking through us.
Though a painting can burn or a sculpture can crumble, they live on because they existed. The ability to exist is from within, the ability to no longer exist, yet still have meaning, is a Universal cause for purpose. Having a purpose to draw or paint or glue some shit together is why we do what we do.
A substantial piece of art that can be held, smelled, raised up on a pedestal or wall, torn down, sold into obscurity or passed from generation to generation, is meaningful. It is the back bone of our creativity and our ideas that can then unfold into other outlets in life, like computers.
Computers are amazing. They are every medium all in one which allow us the ability to push unimaginable boundaries. They have a God like quality in that things are so real, so perfect and accessible. Our ideas are protected and saved "in there" forever.
This is not a sustainable practice for us. This is not the heart of an artist. It is not where we come from but where we are unnecessarily headed. Perfection is a surface pleasing act of our creative genius. It attempts to grasp the concepts and idea that God is only perfect and all knowing, when visceral and tangible art, actually is God and unfolding.
Pick up your paints and your charcoals. Get back to basics and to your core. Make something and then throw it away. Release the idea of perfection in creative endeavors. The idea alone is perfect and it's the process that strengthens our muscles and holds us up as the artists we knew we always were.