Beginning / by gene talbott

This is my first post! It's very exciting! It's scary, also. It feels so risky, and vulnerable. Making something new and imperfect, putting it into the world, always seems that way. Certainly for me. Because it's important, and a part of me. (Isn't it?) Honestly though, it's not that important, in the sense that very little in art, or in life, needs to be taken as truly fixed or in its final form. The practice of an artistic pursuit, in particular, has brought this message home for me over and over. But it can still be very hard to remember.

There is a thought I've been trying for a long time to internalize and live as an artist. It's obvious really, and it goes like this: You can hold nothing on the canvas as precious, for then you'll be afraid to ruin it. And being afraid to ruin what you've got is death for the artist.

So often I'll be looking at what I've got so far on the canvas or paper, and feeling very happy with it. It's so nice! It's so cool! It's not done, however; it just doesn't yet have the maturity and power, the richness and messiness even (beauty requires ugliness, I think) that it needs. But I waste time on unimportant details, I walk away and distract myself, because if I continue to really work I'll lose most or all of that 'loveliness'--not to mention risk total disaster! It's fear, plain and simple, or egotism. An identification with a stage along the way, instead of with the act of juggling chaos and order. The real freedom, of course, is staying with the act.

Because of how it exposes process, engaging with artistic creativity is deeply worthwhile. Contemplating and enjoying the results of that engagement is also worthwhile. Maybe even more so. So here on this website I offer my 'results.'