I've been sitting next to the fire alone, reading, thinking, wondering. I don't feel like painting, even though I have work to do.
Last night I went to 'Maritzburg's annual Nashua Art in the Park .
It's a regular thing for me to go, although I couldn't bring myself to go last year, and must confess to battling to pull myself together enough to go this year (emotional reasons). Anyway I went, and have to say it was a good thing to do. Memories, of course, came flooding back, but the crisp fallen leaves, the crisper winter air and the smell of woodsmoke and dust soon won me over.
I had mixed feelings about the art I saw there this year. A lot of the pieces were just (I felt) pretty pictures. As a friend of mine says of these type of artists, they are too "precious". In other words the art does not speak to you ... it's simply pretty to look at. Don't get me wrong, I believe that pretty pictures have their place in the art world. They do. However, I do find it very intellectually disengaging looking at canvas after canvas which says very little but just looks good. It's boring. Much I imagine like hanging out with a beautiful person who doesn't talk much, has no opinion on anything and has very little going on between their ears. Eventually eye-candy becomes dull. We need a bit of a challenge. Four artists in particular in my mind rescued the evening for me. One, Michelle Decker, I knew and have always found inspirational (her work is incredible), but there were three others that also kept me from banging my head against the dusty old oak trees under which we spectators wandered, and allowed me to savour my red wine instead of unsing it to make slipping into a coma more fun. Eve Page (contrast and colour), Nicola Firth (beautiful use of spaces, compositions were wow) and Gerhard Snyman (raw energy and colour) were new to me, and I found their work refreshing. There were of course many others who I though were marvelous in their skill and technically brilliant, but much of this was souless. I don't see much point is a painting that looks like a photo and is as cold and lifeless.
I hope I don't sound jaded ... it was, as always, a special experience, but for once I actually felt as though I could stand among these artists and feel comfortable displaying there. So my resolution? ... not to go back until I'm exhibiting there. :)
I drove home, and on the way was tempted to stop for Chinese for sentimentality sake. But decided that I didn't think my heart could handle it.