Wednesday, December 31, 2014
The last piece of art
Perhaps it is fitting that my last blog post for 2014 is about death and art. As anyone reading this post is no doubt aware, artistic creation is integral to my life and my self-identity. In addition to creating artwork, one of my favorite activities is to enjoy discussions with friends and fellow artists about our motivation to create art and about the creative processes. I have enjoyed many conversations this year with Tom Nettle, Goody Sinclair, Anthony Morgan and Gabe Lockwood about all things art (visual and musical). I would hope, and I suspect, that I will be creating art as long as I am physically able. I feel like I have LOTS of art "in me" and I want to keep on producing. It's interesting because I was just talking with Gabe last night about this notion. I feel like I have art "in me"; but I rarely have any specific idea about what the art would look like. In fact, more and more these days, I am understanding and embracing the fact that much of my work is "intuitive" (i.e., serendipitous and spontaneous, although slow-to-emerge). But it is inevitable that at some point in time, I will make my last piece of art. And I also think it is inevitable that there will still be art "in me" that will never materialize. I have thought about these things before as I know I think more about death in general, death of friends and family and my own death more than most people (I suspect). But this past week has made these ponderings more salient. The father of a friend of mine passed away suddenly last Sunday as he was preparing a family dinner. James Laramie was 81 years of age and was an accomplished watercolor painter and teacher. He had just had a piece accepted into a very prestigious exhibit (The National Watercolor Exhibit) this year. He was SUCH a kind and gentle man with a beautiful aesthetic sensibility. I couldn't help reflect upon the vast creative output in his life; and the fact that Jim has now made his last piece of artwork. I know he had lots of art still "in him". It is unfortunate that he can no longer create the work for others to see (BTW, I am working on getting some good digital images of his work to share; but am still in the process of doing that). Does the value of an artist's work increase when they pass away? The answer is definitely YES. But I'm not referring here to monetary value... I'm referring to a value that is much more precious. I am sure the pieces that Jim created are valued and will be cherished way more now that he has left us. Rest in peace Jim. And thank you for making the world a more beautiful place by creating and sharing your artwork with us. To all who read this, I wish you a peaceful, prosperous, healthy and creatively- inspired new year! Peace be with all of you!