Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Golden Path

This image is one of my personal favorites and I just realized I have not put it on the blog yet as I was saving it for something special. This post is my 199th post. I never would have imagined that there would be so much to share, but then, when I started doing this work, I never imagined that I would still be doing it four years later. I thought it was just an experiment, a phase, an itch I needed to scratch and then I'd get back to my "real" career as a painter. But that is not how it has turned out. Do I have any regrets? None really. Yes, the financial aspect of this choice has been exceptionally difficult. I've gone from having a very comfortable living wage to well below what is "comfortable" even for one who lives frugally as I do. But do I regret my choice? No way. Not when I have had the privilege of witnessing moments like this. For me, this is where the REAL "Gold" of life is.

And yet, one still has to pay the bills, so that challenge continues to haunt me as it does so many artists. I was thinking about life as an artist... it is so unlike many of the other professions. In other walks of life, you are paid for what you do as you do it. Certainly the plumbers, teachers, lawyers and doctors of this system want to be paid for their services and we know this is "how it is" so we all accept the terms of service. But our society does not grant the same terms for service for artists. Artists must labour long and hard to create their work but they may never see any "pay" for what they do unless they figure out ways to also package, market and "Sell" their work in the marketplace.
This requires an entirely different set of brain cells and personal skills and above all... time. Precious time that takes us away from what we are meant to do... be creative. I don't wish to sound like a diva, I am not one. But I am seeing how utterly discouraging it can be sometimes to work so hard at a thing and, thru no fault of one's own, still feel like a "failure" because this system has it's value systems in some very warped perspectives. It can be crushing to the soul of an artist to keep feeling defeated by this aspect of the times we live in. I certainly can feel this way at times.

What keeps us going? What keeps me going? It is something entirely outside of the realm of money and commerce. It is something far deeper. It is how my soul feels when I look upon an image such as this. It does not matter that I made the image. What matters is the beauty that is within the image and how my inner self responds to that beauty. Beauty that transcends words, thoughts and values. Beauty is food for the soul. If I feed it well, my soul will flourish. My body will die someday... we all will embrace that initiation no matter how much money we made or lost in our lifetimes.... but how well did we feed our souls? This is an important question to ask... and answer.


Thomas said...

Thank you for all of your posts. We appreciate you and your delicate and delightful creativity. Cheers, Tom

Tammie Lee said...

This photo is absolutely wonderful! The light is golden, ah. Your post does share some of the hardship of being an artist. But it is a deep calling that often can not be denied. So lovely to find your blog!

xuxacat said...

I found your blog through and have enjoyed following you and your work. Your photographs always make my spirit sore and inspire creativity in me. Thank for sharing your journey, you have fed my soul!

Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.