Found this yesterday in a book called ‘The Intuitive Way’
by Penney Peirce, (Axiom pub.2000
) It doesn’t quite say what I have been thinking but it is the closest I’ve read so far : -“When you put yourself out into the world and don’t receive the results you think you deserve, it’s not necessarily because your work is substandard or because you’re doing something wrong. You must keep going, keep walking, taking the steps that come from the deepest impulses. What makes people notice you and your work is power, and you have not built up enough of it. Power accumulates by consistently using the talents you were given,[and] from doing what you love repeatedly in the world ….Be the artist and do the artwork. Don’t siphon energy into other activities and people. Be convincing. You must saturate your energy field with who and what you are.”
Now can I just remind you that these are not my words and I don’t entirely agree but it is getting closer to elucidating an idea I have been thinking about.An artwork carries an atmosphere with it that makes it more or less appealing in a way that is more than the sum of its parts. For instance, in a broad and blunt example, you may have a show and although you worked extremely hard on all the pieces, piece A, B and C can be over-looked compared to the attention garnered by D. When you look at what was different about D, apart from possible skill, composition and such there is often nothing so obvious. But then, thinking back to when you did the pieces, were you in the same state when you did the noticed
artwork as to when you did the other, less noticeable, works? It is often a piece that came much easier and more gracefully straight from the ‘muse’ that has this draw.And yet would you have come to that point, been able to do that piece, had you not done the other works? and/Or was it a piece that came with confidence and ease, the sort that almost do themselves? Or did it just resonate even as you did it?Could we bottle that state or switch it on at will? Which is where this quote appealed. Penney Peirce calls it “Power”, I’m not so comfortable with that word as it is fraught with possible misinterpretations. Energy
is a vague enough substitute. She says it accumulates as you use your ‘talents’ and do what you love. I’m all for that possibility. What bothers me is the artists I come across who, to the best of my knowledge, consistently do this, use their talent at what they love, and yet it doesn’t translate into worldly success/recognition/appeal.After thinking about it for some time and observing myself and other artists I really don’t know what is going on. I suspect it might take a deep and honest self assessment by each person of whether they do really do what they love
or have they slid into doing what they hope might work? Do they do it every day and not let it be shoved aside by other parts and people in their life? Do they, as she puts it, ‘saturate their
energy field with who and what they
But also what is their inner critical voice saying? By this I mean – if you are consistently thinking that it will all go nowhere, if current thought theories are correct, you will get exactly the result you are dwelling on. So this means, you could be ticking all the boxes, doing art you love, consistently, and yet be telling yourself it will all come to naught and…the theory goes…It will all come to naught. The universe we are in might be that malleable to our input.
I recently shared a train trip with two well known australian artists who have been professionals for many decades and they spent a long time lamenting the lack of real collectors, buyers, customers out there and the way current australian artists are so under-valued. I did wonder as I listened which came first, the chicken thought or the egg result as I know both of their art practices and works are excellent.
But I cannot sit on their shoulder watch…I have art to do.
But I can ask you. Please respond, prove me wrong, or right. But lay the evidence down ruthlessly honestly. Have you done, been and thought consistently in regard to the art you love? And if so what was the result?
I do believe in an intangible atmosphere around artworks, and might eventually find it to be more important than anything else.