Getting Down to Work
Rob and I had a weekend getaway, for the group show he was part of in Banff at Canada House Gallery. It's a very special show where over 20 artists represented by the gallery gather and talk about their work with clients. Basically we're all treated like gold for an entire day. And of course, we're in the mountains, which never cease to amaze and comfort.
On the trip home (about a 5 hour drive), we talked about getting back to work, which I think is a sign that we'd had a satisfying and restorative time.
It made me think of the following lines by the artist Chuck Close:
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.”
So, here's to getting down to the work. Here's to working quietly, steadily, sturdily. Here's to losing oneself in the work, in the process, and here's to sitting and listening to the thing you're making. Here's to making small marks, that lead to other small marks.
Here's to being like the mountains. Not worrying about the weather, the clouds that form and obscure and reveal them. Not worrying about the snow that falls and gathers, and later melts.
Get down to your work, slowly and silently. Just work.