Friday, June 13, 2014

Talkin' Turkey, part 2

A rafter of wild turkeys on the Kansas prairie

My last post was about the discouraging business of art, of being an artist. And there is no sugar-coating it; Art has ever been and probably always will be a difficult way to make money. I don't know why that is. Because can you even think of a world without art?

I believe Art does for the physical health of the world as much as physicians do. I believe Art does for the mental well-being of the world as much, perhaps more, than psychologists and therapists do. I believe Art does as much for the spiritual growth of the world as religious leaders do. I believe that Art and artists educate as well as many schools do. I believe Art has and can bring people together better than governments can and do. Yet all the professionals in those fields are compensated for the work they do, and most artists are poorly compensated, if at all. But, there it is.

In spite of that, we will continue to make Art. Because, as I said before, what would the world be without art?

We make art because we have a message from our hearts and souls that cannot be spoken or shared in any other way. Can you imagine the world without the works of Vincent Van Gogh? How much poorer would we all be? Poorer even than he was, when he died in poverty, having sold only two of his glorious heart-exposing paintings.

Artists are ambassadors of hope and keepers of beauty. Art can find the lovely in what others see as unlovely. Art brings respite from pain, and makes the heart remember what it has forgotten. These are not just clever words, they are Truths that I have experienced in my life and have seen  in the lives of others.

If Art was just my business, I would retire today. I would have quit yesterday, or many, many days before that. I am not a complete idiot; I can add and subtract and see that Art as my business is complete foolishness. But Art is not just a business for me; it is how I interact with my world. So I will go to the studio this morning and I will weave, knowing that I am not making $xx.xx/hour, and that I am probably going further into the red with each pass of the lovely Swedish yarn I use. I will create another tapestry, and another painting, knowing they may end up stashed under my bed or in the cedar closet. Because I have a new story to tell, and it is a story that must be told as Art.

1 comment:

Loree Jackson said...

Thank you for these last 2 posts. It's good to know someone else feels the same way.