|Christmas Eve, by Carol L. Douglas|
I’m not much of a New Year’s resolution-maker. I give myself one task on January 1, and that’s to remove myself from all the junk mail lists I’ve gotten on in the past year. That’s less a resolution than a reminder, like having your annual physical on your birthday.
I address the things I want to fix in my life when they
first appear as a problem, not on an arbitrary date in Christmastide when I’m
already feeling sluggish from too much holiday. So yesterday when someone asked
me about my artistic resolutions for the coming year, I was unable to answer.
|Christmas night, by Carol L. Douglas|
But to say I don’t have artistic goals would be wrong. They include doing more abstraction, more small studies, and more forays into the world of magical realism. But don’t hold me to them. By midsummer, I may have abandoned these ideas completely and be fascinated by Kleig lights and cougars.
If that’s you, too, don’t despair. That’s the artistic
temperament in a nutshell. When it works
successfully, an artistic temperament is a great intellectual curiosity coupled
with very disciplined work habits. A lot of people have that backwards: they
see undisciplined work habits as a sign of being ‘artistic’, and don’t seem to
notice the paucity of ideas in the work being churned out. Or not being churned
out. If you’re talking about more paintings than you’re making, you may have a
|Schoolbus, by Carol L. Douglas|
I particularly respect my old friend Cindy Zaglin in this respect. She’s survived cancer and Hurricane Sandy. Her answer to every bump in the road is to trudge over to her Brooklyn studio to make more art. If she was worried about sales numbers, or critical reception, she could never have gone down the artistic path she has. (She was sort of a realist when I met her many years ago.) Whatever the question, the answer for her has always been to sort it out by making more art.
I took last week off to spend time with my family. You’d
think that with all that spare time, our house would be immaculate, but it’s
the other way around. Without routine, it rapidly disintegrated into a mess. I myself
was restless and fractious. By yesterday I was anxiously drawing in my
sketchbook, eager to get back into the studio. And so today, between visits to
my dentist to get a tooth fixed (ah, Christmas!) and my physical therapist to
work on my back, I’ll do just that. The metrics and plans will just
have to wait.
|Nautilus was my last 'serious' painting of 2018, and even here I couldn't get the magical realism out of my mind.|