Thursday

The Third Hand


Success and reward are two entirely different phenomena when it comes to art.  Reward is in the numbers, numbers adding up either in the bank account or the size of the audience.  Both are good.  A fat bank account lets me go about the business of materials much more easily.  The opportunity to engage with a larger audience allows me to understand the nature of my work from another perspective.

Neither of these have a much to do with the success of a work though.  That phenomena is somehow contained in the field of energy a work creates when finished, the internal working order  I've alluded to in other writings about art.  And that pursuit, above all, is the sweetest promise of all the new studio has to offer.

I have regained a sense of child-like wonder this year looking at the apple trees in our small orchard.  First the shock of the leaf itself, the tightly wound buds pushing out of bare branches.  Then the extravagance of the blossom, one here or two there scattered in the newly unfurled leaves then suddenly everywhere.  All in the business of metamorphosing into apples.  Delicious edible fruit for me, the bee, the deer and anyone else passing under or over the tree.

I could stretch a metaphor into successful blossoms followed by the reward of the apple but I won't.  I really don't know what's going on out there in that tree.  None of us do. Not really.  We have science and statistics and however interesting both may be concerning the apple tree they fall short of explaining the wonder I experience when I let them go.

I'm not sure how internal working order comes about in art.  My strongest suspicion holds an idea that the process involves a letting go, a release of hard won knowledge, the science and statistic that bring so much comfort in our search for meaning, for understanding this life of ours.

So I suppose what I'll be doing in the new studio is pretty much what I've been doing in all the studios I've ever had: preparing myself and my materials.  Gathering, letting go, then waiting to see what happens.  One thing I am sure of at this point is that something will. Some of it will be good, some will be wonderful and some stuff I'll throw away.  Just like those apples.