Sunday, April 18, 2010
Finding a True Calling
I've always had a problem with focusing. Not focusing in the day to day; if my mind is made up I will work like crazy to fulfill something. But in a larger scope, I have a tendency to dabble. Some people call it a blessing and others call it a curse.
My problem is that I can't figure out what to do with my life. Oh, yes, I am an "artist", but sometimes I really, really envy those that know exactly what they want to do and enjoy doing the same thing day in and day out and become true masters in their fields. I know lots of very famous artists dabbled in different mediums (Picasso, Calder, O'Keefe) but they were also very singular.
I studied jewelry design for many years, then I painted murals, and now I paint small paintings, I make mosaics, I make concrete and wire sculptures, I cook, I am writing a novel, I like to sew, and I still dabble in jewelry. Yet I can't seem to focus on any one skill set for very long before I just move over to another one.
For a long time, I really thought I wanted to make jewelry. But let's be honest, I was always a mediocre jeweler at best. I never took chances with my materials or became truly creative. I guess that is a problem with studying something when you are broke in your early twenties--I didn't explore partly because I was afraid to waste materials. Partly because I didn't have a distinct style or enthusiasm about silver and gold.
I happened upon a funny little realization in the last few weeks. I have been missing a medium. I've always had a hard time with the environmental damages of art. It wastes a lot of natural resources to make concrete or resin or sterling silver or tile. I have tried several times to work on "assemblage" art, but usually feel like I am "crafting" more than "arting", if that make sense.
But I finally found that medium when I went to Artfest and I took a great class on working with tin, and now I am feeling a little more than transformed. It's cheap, it's widely available, it's all about reusing and recycling and I can use it in sculpture and jewelry and even functional objects. Tin gives me a chance to work with color and shape and texture and scale. I've been more excited being in my studio in the last two weeks than I can remember in the last two years.
I am still not making breath-taking works of art, but I am really looking forward to see what I do in the future.