My friend Kim Dawn recently wrote me in response to my post of confidence. I agree with what she has to say:
I strongly believe in believing in your work. I find that sometimes when someone is discussing my work they don’t realize they are talking about/on my heart. They also don’t seem to realize that it is only an opinion they are sharing and not necessarily the way it is. I find when I get in my studio it’s important for me to shut out others opinions, sales, etc and just let loose, get in touch with my heart, body, the materials, movement, color, line.
I think making art is a process of going between going deeply inwards, shutting out the noise then going out, then back in.
Money is good and nice and comforting and comfortable. When it comes to the heart of the matter though it’s about the joy of making. Then of sharing. Then hopefully of financial compensation.
There is another very important aspect of making art. It’s about vision. What is it you want to express with making art. It’s not just about entertainment. It’s more than playing badminton or watching a movie. There’s that deep inward discovery Kim talks about. That’s vision to me. The exploration.
When I first moved to Nova Scotia twenty-five years ago, I spent the first three months pondering what I wanted a painting to do, to be. For me, it’s mass, weight, form created with color, something solid. Some of what I want in painting is having it be an object itself, not a representation but a complete experience. When I wander from those qualities, I am uncomfortable. This, then, is my vision.