Friday, April 16, 2010

About Autonomy

What I do in my studio is about freedom. In order to get by in this culture we need to conform to lots of rules. Our civilization would go to hell without them. Everybody that I consort with is clean, polite and most of the time discreet. We try to be responsible for ourselves and kind to each other. We brush our teeth and don't go to the grocery store naked. Not often. But when we write or paint or make music, we can do it any which way the spirit moves us. It is the place where we can be everything we are, rules and toothbrush be damned.

While I value the art school experience that was mine, I have consciously discarded some of the learning which was restrictive. Of course, it is helpful to know the rules before breaking them, kind of helps you to understand what you're doing. Conflict arises when those who have become supporters and purchasers of one's work spurn it as it evolves into something less familiar. The question then becomes a choice between moving ahead or pleasing one's audience and allowing the work to atrophy — and the freedom to become captivity.

Writer John Updike said: What art offers is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit.

The image above is Biscay ©2008, Acrylic & Mixed Media on Museum Board, 17 x 12". For information about any of the paintings on this site, please email Joan.

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