Friday, September 13, 2013

Care: The Essence Of Making Art

"Care" by Jim Carpenter, Acrylic on Paper, 10"x 10"

There are over 400 artists in Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 Challenge. What could possibly possess them all to do this online thing?  I'm sure we all have our reasons, but there is one characteristic, one motivating factor that applies to each and every artist in the challenge. Care. They care about art. They care about self expression. They care so much about their art form that they paint every day and make time for it every day. And, at one time or another I would imagine they have had to deal with the question, "Why."   

I am sometimes overwhelmed by what I see as tremendous care in a work of art - a novel, a painting, a chorus, a play.  I think about how the members of the National Symphony Orchestra have spent a lifetime mastering their instrument, spent countless hours in rehearsal, alone and with others, preparing for the concert. I watch them to see them listening and enjoying, to see them paying attention to the conductor, to the page.  And they do all of this to be a part of making music.  It's a stage full of care.  And so it is with any fine or performing art.  If you take the time to think about the care that each artist, whether an amateur or a great master, puts into the work, it's simply breathtaking,  Care is of the essence.  

My painting today - this 10th painting - was one that gave me a time.  They all do actually, but when it was finished and I had to title it, I was briefly stumped and feared that the painting didn't make sense.  But the central figure seemed to have a benevolence about him and is directing it toward the couple on the left.  The figure on the right seems to be burdened with concern.  And it was then that I realized that this painting is about caring.   The setting is theatre-like, and there's no surprise there, considering my attachments to the theatre.  

Hopefully the painting manages to rise above the literal and can be seen as allegorical. 

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