I have been thinking about "thinking" as I have tried to write about my art for my first ever (gasp) art exhibit.
Thinking about art is definitely not the same thing as making art, and that is a good thing. If art were only about thinking, then all art might look something like Maurizio Cattelan's "Comedian"-the 2019 Art Basel piece that is a banana duct-taped to a gallery wall. A banana duct-taped to a gallery wall is so funny and definitely a great comment on much of contemporary art's capitalist machine, but I am so grateful for the art out there that takes my breath away. I am so grateful for the artists who have taken their time to skillfully render an ineffable visual scene that makes me feel something.
For me, these past few years of learning skills and techniques around both painting and drawing have been a steady stream of activity. Practicing drawing long, loose lines is something that I have done almost every day this year. The process of mixing paints together and then applying them to a canvas with a brush doesn't happen in my mind--it happens in the studio. Art is made only through embodiment and effort.
I am grateful to be at this stage where I have gathered up the work of 2022 and am now taking some time to reflect on it. But at the same time, I am glad that I did not overthink it while I was creating. Don't get me wrong-I do love thinking about my art. I have all of these ideas about what art and art-making means to me as well as specific ideas about different work. But those ideas are all part of my narrative, and I am not sure that they add much to the art once the art is complete and ready for a wall. My hope is that the more important things I think and feel as I create art are somehow baked into the finished product. I think what I am trying to say is that my favorite part of art is the ineffable, both on the creating end and the receiving end.
The creative path calls us forward toward an unknown place that we have never been before. And dedication to any journey like this requires a certain amount of trust, unknowing and letting go.