The Journey Into Art: Doing Something Difficult

July 21, 2019
San Juan River morning
Sunrise along the San Juan river

One of my hard things was that I came to photographic art after many years of professional training and experience in science and medicine. I had no formal art training, except for making paper mâché boxes in high school. Then I wandered into the world of art, where there were many, whose artistic training and experience rivaled my own, but in a different way.

I had to admit I did indeed choose to go back to school. I thought it would be easy. Soon I discovered otherwise. It had things like creativity, personal expression, personal vision, form, color, and style that were important. "What was that all about?”, I kept asking myself. "Where are all the formulas and recipes and equations...all those things that required rote memory?"

These artistic concepts and ideas, much less their expression in my work, came slowly over many years.

I had to admit I had started over again in something I really didn't know much about.

I had a camera. Right?? Therefore I can take good pictures. Of course!! So I am an artist. Right??

Wrong... As has been said many times, art has plenty of techniques but no rules. I was a photographer who could take pictures. Period.

Art does not have the linearity to it of science and logic. It is emotive and creative and spontaneous, moving the artist in directions that are neither rational nor anticipated nor even conscious. It teaches taking pieces of reality and making them into something tangible.

I should not have left my comfort zone. But I did, and it was truly difficult to be told that I was not doing a good job, and that the work I had done 6-12 months ago was better than what was being shown now. "Better??" What was better in art? I sure couldn't see it then. Thankfully my teachers were kind in their honesty.

My journey in this the world of art gave me the opportunity to explore a subjective, tangible, creative expression in the form of my photographic prints. It was that simple and difficult.

I have always liked the myth of the man, whose place in his tribe was to continually go beyond the land of what was known to bring back something for the tribe. His role was not unique, as there had been many before him, and there would be many after him. This was just the role the tribe had given him. All had their places in the tribe. So he went on his perpetual journey to the beyond and back.

Perhaps I just have too much restlessness in my soul. I don't so much mind the discomfort of being ignorant about where I am going if I feel I am on the path.

What is “the path”? It is for me about exploring the experiences of creativity, the production of art, and the sharing of it with others. I perpetually go beyond my previous experiences to return with something new to share...over and over and over...

Posted in Experiences, Thoughts.