First order of business is a name change for these weekly posts. It's going to be Fearless Friday rather than Failure Friday. Sounds more positive and upbeat :) I stillI might post on Saturday but I'd like to set my intention for Friday.
"The object isn't to make art; it's to be in that state which makes art inevitable." ~ ROBERT HENRI
This is an ink and charcoal drawing I did last week while in Ivy's studio. I like him very much. Not because he is perfect in any conventional way but because of what I felt while creating him. It was a day when the spirit of the above quote prevailed over fear and sabotage. I like to think about it as living in the red thread moment. The red thread moment is the jumping off the cliff moment when I let go of all my rescue gear (except my red thread), my expectations and even my mind and I'm simply present with what is right there in front of me. It's joyful. It's exciting. It's inspiring. It's fun!
It's not so simple though. But it is. Do you know what I mean? Another way to think about it is to imagine what it might take in order to find out if you are able to fly. In the air I mean. You have the wings, the feathers and the heartfelt wish but until you actually step off the edge you have no idea if you will drop like a stone or rise like a Phoenix. It's that scary sometimes. Similarly to art, flying is no doubt better accomplished without intent or over planning ... except to have your wings tied on very tight.
Obviously the riding a bicycle metaphor works well here too. Over-think steering, pedaling and ringing your bell all at once and you will surely crash and skin your knee. Everyone knows this phenomena but we still do things that cause us to fail. So how do we get to that seemingly magical state of mind that Robert Henri is referring to? Well the short and the long answer is the same. We don't do anything intentional at all. That's the answer. Make art all the time and just be yourself. The red thread finds me I don't find it. The same it true for the best inspired art making. Let go of all things but the heart and the senses and you're gold. Very Zen, very spiritual, very magical :)
P. S. I thought you might also like to see what he looked like before I brought him into my iPad for a make up adjustment. The original inspiration for the inky drawings we were doing that day was the work of South African artist Marlene Dumas. So the scared look he has is relevant to the inspiration. Taking my original work into my iPad is a regular part of my artistic practice. It is the time when I can analyze, deconstruct and experiment with various changes and adjustments. It's a self teaching process that I find very helpful and fun as well!