Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Stopping versus quitting

I have an on-going discussion with my dear friend Wendy. We talk about many aspects of life, but art is the biggest single topic. Recently we talked about why we were not in our studios making art when we wanted to. Wendy says:

"I like Art & Fear -- Bayles & Orland don't
make the stalling out to be pathological. "Writers
even have a phase for it-- 'the pen has run dry'-- but
all media have their equivalents. In the normal
artistic cycle this just tells where you need to begin
cultivating the next new idea. [...] Quitting is
fundamentally different from stopping. The latter
happens all the time. Quitting happens once.
Quitting means not starting again-- and art is all
about starting again." "

By the way, Ted Orland also has a new book out called The View From the Studio Door. I find it every bit as refreshing as Art and Fear.

I thought I stopped a few years ago, not because my brush ran dry, but because I had to make some major changes in our house when I got allergies. It has been hard to get started again. I think too many other concerns have filled the time that used to be dedicated to art. My habits have changed. Now I am trying to re-vitalize my old art-making habit.

There are parallel issues happening with the blog right now. My original idea was that blogging would make me think about art more, and so I would be more inspired. I have begun to wonder if I should be putting my time into making things in the studio instead of blogging. Should I quit, should I slow down? Well, I have slowed down, due to a combination of being sick, my parent's health problems and other issues. At the moment it looks like I will try to continue at a slower pace for a few months. Barring some huge disaster, I will announce it here if I decide to quit.

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