Rejection. Acceptance. And the Space It Takes
So I've been playing around with my ukulele lately. It always surprises me when I pick up one of my musical instruments at how happy I become. It's different than painting or art journaling or crocheting or any other type of visual art. It's lighter.
I mean, with visual art, after you do it, there's this output with mass that takes up room in your life, right? I mean as much as I love to paint, I start looking at the stacks of canvases and wonder if my life's limited space can handle me painting for much longer without a way for them to regularly exit my life. Ideally for the visual artist, there is an audience that purchases the output. It's a sign of ultimate acceptance, really. Of being celebrated, and validated that your art is good ... that it has value and that it is adored by someone or several someones.
But with music and performance art, once you do it, there isn't this growing mass that takes up space. I'll play a song on the uke or play a piece on the cello and out it goes into the air ... sometimes just for me to hear or for a few select people who happen to be in the room when it happens. It's lovely.
I suppose professional musicians gauge ultimate acceptance also through sales ... of tickets, albums and such ... but still ... it's lighter. It's easier. If a musician decides to reinvent or change directions, they just have to stop singing songs that they once loved but now dread. They simply change their tune.
Visual artists can also change what they paint ... but even so ... there the canvases sit ... or the journals, the crochet, the jewelry, the assemblages ... taking up a whole lot of space ... with older works to remind us how we are so not artist who we once were.
I guess I'm just thinking out loud. I mean, I couldn't bear the idea of no more painting or no more crocheting or no more of all the visual art that I love to make. And I couldn't bear the idea of living in a world where we didn't have visual creations around us ... from the painted canvas all the way to the enormous metal sculpture.
But I guess I sort of understand how sometimes we hear of visual artists who do dramatic things like burn a pile of their canvases just to lighten their load, or to get rid of works that they can't stand anymore. I understand it.