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Thursday, October 29, 2009

The importance of community

I missed my local art league meeting two Wednesdays in a row. My tail was dragging, I had a migraine headache, I didn’t want to lug my stuff around; and so it went.

The following week, another excuse popped up. I had no car. I was planning to paint at home anyway; it was no big deal. Two days past before I realized what I’d missed: the camaraderie among friends who share a passion for art; the reason why most artists reach out to each other.

Some other things I missed: the chance to “group critique” my latest “problem child,” the painting that started out great, but is getting out of control fast. Should I sand it off and start over? Is it too late to change the placement of my sight line? Are my values too few and too abrupt? Are my reflections in the water slightly off? Did I make my egrets too large, and on and on.

Inspiration and ideas may come when we’re alone, and these quiet moments are important; but you can’t create in a vacuum. Since art is life, our muse, if you will, is the larger community. If your reservoir of ideas and inspiration is drying up – reach out and drink from somebody else’s well for a change. The water’s of creativity will begin to flow again.