Thursday, January 11, 2007

Second Guessing

Where the Light Is, 2006, Oil on Panel, 12x16

And so, because I tend to be the obsessive type, I have spent the last few days trying to figure out how I should have answered a few of the questions that Patti asked me in the interview last Saturday. She asked me several questions that were not on the list that she gave me ahead of time. The one that has really been dogging me was when she asked about what kind of advice would I give to young people about pursuing art. In the interview, I prattled on about how going to art school was really valuable to me and how making many sacrifices, including time and income would probably be necessary, blah blah blah. While those things are true, what I really should have said was this:

Put your heart into your work. Period. Many other things are important, like an education, observation, talent, imagination and discipline, but learning how to be honest in my work has brought me many rewards. Not financial (I would have totally smirked here) although that is good, of course, but the utter joy of expressing myself and connecting with others through that expression. And the heart and the honesty is what makes that possible.

That is what I should have said.

What would your answer be?

13 comments:

Ann K. said...

This painting seems to me to embody your thoughts: the key is finding "where the light is." Lovely.

(If this post shows up twice, really it's blogger's fault!!)

Tracy said...

Agreed, finding your heart is the challenge and it takes a longer for some of us! Getting there is part of the fun though.

The illustrator in me included this piece with this post, and blogger has been giving me a hard time today also.

Angela Rockett said...

That is the perfect answer. It is all about learning to be honest in your work, and truly expressing yourself. I struggled with that for a long time, and now that I am truly listening to whatever it is that compels me to engage in this artistic life, I feel so much more peaceful with it.

And the painting is wonderful, and appropriate.

Ed Maskevich said...

I would say, "be passionate"! There will be many twists and turns on the road but only you can maintain the passion, the desire. Always be looking, always have a sense of wonder and awe, always be learning.

leslyf@gmail.com said...

Tracy - your words are what we ALL should take heed of, young or not. Very sound advice and the painting is lovely. It took a while for my eyes to adjust to it on my monitor but when I did ... WOW!

meno said...

I think that advice applies to doing whatever it is we want to do in life.

(Thomas Kincaid should learn how to paint lights from you. Although i'll bet he's rich.)

Tracy said...

Thanks Angela. It is tough to find that honesty and then to make it even tougher I think that those things change during the different stages of our lives.

Maybe the pursuit of it is the honest part.

Ed, your advice is excellent. Thanks for adding that.

Thanks Lesly. That painting is a tricky one. It is rather dark but not so much in real life.

Meno, you are totally right. That crossed my mind too when I was writing the post. Not that I am qualified to give universal advice, of course:-)

Susan Constanse said...

Cultivate a joy in learning. You're going to have to do a lot of different kinds of things and you may as well learn to enjoy the process.

Steven LaRose said...

Marry a smart woman(or man).

KJ said...

Steven, that's no joke! At least he/she must be a believer. Tracy, there are always second thoughts... even as I copy the silly letters and sign off this comment, I'll think of something else that would have been more pertinent.

Tracy said...

Good advice too, Susan. Learning new things is crucial to having a long career in anything, not only art.

Steven, definitely good advice.

Karen, I know, but I have to be careful with the second thoughts as they can really be troublesome for me. I often spend days berating myself over a 2 minute conversation with another parent as I am picking up the kids, only to later find out that they don't even remember what we talked about. I probably just need to get out more:-)

Jayne Rose Designs said...

Wow. I am absolutely captivated by this painting. The richness of the dark colors really are brought out by the small, but bright lit area of the painting. Love it.

You got the weather we had last night. We were lucky to be a bit north of the damaging icy stuff. I guess January finally arrived!

Tracy said...

Thanks Jayne. I have to admit that that light effect occurred because the front area wasn't working and I tried to darken it so there would be less contrast between the path and the foliage. By doing that the focus became the lighted area that I had left alone. Inadvertent, but I'll take it!

Glad you missed the worst of the storm. Ours wasn't as bad as it seemed to have been in the midwest and even other parts of NY.