December 19, 2014

What do Artists Need?

I just watched, over the last three nights, three amazing biographies: Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, and The Life and Work of Sally Mann. It was an important time for me to see these because, the fact is, there is something of a let-down, having completed the gallery. We worked so hard for two months and now all that activity is complete, for the most part, and there is time to think again.

Anna, Bill and I need to sell. It is how we earn our livings and we are all pretty much at the end these days. That’s part of living this artist’s life. In the easy times I think it makes us strong. In the hard times I wish it was easier.

In these biographies, every one of these artists faced challenges—different challenges—but each one of them had to rise above something. Each of them had to continually find the courage of their vision.

And we continue to do that here.

I believe in what I’m doing and Anna and Bill believe, too. So we have to continue to find ways to make it work. We’ll make the sale, make the house payment, pay our bills and the taxes, and we’ll continue living these artful lives we’ve carved out for ourselves. I’m pretty sure we will.

I’ve said it before in this blog: it’s one of the reasons art is so precious. It not only is born of the soul, it springs from our ability to continue to figure out how to make ends meet, how to piece together a living, so we can go on creating—and not everybody can make that happen. Most people simply don’t have the heart for it.

Stieglitz had an entrenched culture to buck, Lin faced intensely harsh criticism at a very young age, and Mann wrestled with her relevance. We, all of us, face something. It is one of the ways we’re connected as human beings, one of the reasons we empathize each with the other. Anna, Bill and I are bonded in this pursuit of our dreams. And it’s comforting to be in this together.

All photos in today’s post were shot by Kevin Hulett Photography.

Love to you all,
Jeane


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