Work That Waits
The greatest frustration that I have as an artist is the sense of responsibility that I feel towards the creation of my art - in that, some works only ever live as half-formed, unresolved dreams of a finished image that has yet to be.
With the studio overflowing with such moments of inspiration, (and some of them squalling incoherently for my attention as their god) I ask myself, how do I reconcile myself with this ever-growing civilization of vision and characterization without going completely barmy over whether or not it is presented to the world in a state of completion and harmony? (Yes, everyone should have my problems....don't worry, I thank the gods every day that I don't live in a cardboard box.)
However, this is the priority of life in art - completion of the work, the final destination being realized and given form, having had life (blood, sweat, tears and possibly coffee) breathed into it, so that it is substance, and not just some colloquial gesture of consumerism devoid of feeling.
The beauty of it is that I get to return to these incomplete works with a different perspective over time - there is something significant in the employment of another emotional energy to art that began somewhere else, and is developed through something new and fresh (and shiny if I'm lucky!). I often discover an angle or avenue in the process that wasn't available to me at the time I started the work, which makes the completion of the artwork a whole other journey entirely. While critical distance is often denied me in these times, this prolonged developmental progress has not only the same effect, but a greater benefit - when the tools and technique are refined over time, there is something new to add to an old image.
What I really look for in a finished work is that essence that moves me, when I can look at one of my works, and say - now that's cool. My standard response for anything that hits a nerve or resonates with me personally. What it means is that the work, regardless of the fact that it's cartoonish or seriously surreal, has substance. My classical training aside, reviewing the masters was based on the fact that cameras didn't exist in their time. With the advent of technology, art had to go somewhere new and adventurous; for me personally, it meant taking away the realism, the ability to copy a photo, to get away from anything that wasn't directly from my mind and my hand - it can only be unique when it is interpreted entirely through me.
Which brings me back to my problem of a massive imagination......and only one hand.....*sigh*