Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Rant

You may consider this a sequel to my post 'Confessions of a half baked artist'. The previous post was written in times when I was souring the crest of sanguineness. However my disposition to ebb into transversely terrain encroaches a whopping part of my headspace too. I may not want to embrace this blenching melancholia but it does have a penchant to engulf me in its dark, gloomy spell. I'll quit thrusting this pliabilty in some inky little cranny in the recesses of my mind and keep assiduous tabs on it  to not pop out like a jack in the box at the moments most unmediated and unprompted. What I would like to do is to acknowledge this dark side of me so please take it with a pinch of salt.(read no preaching).

Art has been a mood enhancing life preserving drug for me even before I could spell it. I'm not getting into how adept I am as an artist. I may be clumsy or dexterous as an artist but that's not what I want to delve into. What I want to do is to decrypt my process of creating an art work. All that I need is thick grainy paper, sparkling luminous pigments, motley of perky brushes and a little inspiration for me to vamoose from astringent reality and dissolve into the  process when your brain, heart, mind, soul and hand are in sublime consanguinity to orchestrate a divine symphony of strokes or lines and it becomes a spiritual process akin to any religious ritual. Well not times its eraser and cutters and working afresh to your own satisfaction. So far so good. Apart from the above mentioned supplies what is needed in dollops is time.

People who do not even have a penchant for art hang up prints of a masters in their living room and admire their skill and dedication to art but for them the flaky artist painting in next room is just indulging in a vain hobby. So anybody and everybody has a claim to an artist's time because after all its just a whimsical avocation which unlike a job has no guarantee of a pay check.

However people approve of only certain kind of work
A. A job that brings in a regular pay check...never mind you they will not get a penny from from it but that they approve of you working only for a paycheck.
B.  Domestic chores...If you are an artist you must finish those upto the satisfaction of others and then do whatever you can with forsaken time. How can you think of outsourcing work(with your own money) when all you do is paint. The least you can do is cook from scratch everyday.
C. Attending humdrum social/religious gatherings and indulge in small talk. If you have job you may be excused from that  but hey there is no pressing deadline for you to paint right now. What will the people say when you don't attend the neighbor's cousin's wedding.
D. Tending to unexpected guests. If you have a job you may be absolved but how can you tell the guests that you do not have time for them because you are in middle of a trifling painting?

Agreed money has to be made and chores have to be done. But how much is the limit and more importantly who pegs the limit. If you are thrusting your tenets, time limits and way of life on artists will there be any artists? You may ask me do take a job and paint in the residual time. But will there be any  time? So should I forsake art and take up a job because then I don't have to be apologetic of cooking a healthy two course dinner instead of three?

And no the society is not despotic. They are not yanking away your collection of brushes or shredding apart your canvas. All they ask of you is to rack up your insignificant and trivial little hobby when it suits them. So all they ask of you is to harmonize, accommodate, conform and adapt. What it all means to an artist is to go by the book, not to create waves to rock the boat, toe the line, follow the beaten path or atleast don't stray too far from it lest the leash snaps, give up the urge to explore. Chores are not to be planned according to artists time but art has to practiced when the chores are done.So no I don't want to paint spasmodically. Either art has me whole-hog(I do not mean I wont do chores but not according to others. In my own way and in my own time) or not at all . So yeah I would give up art. No not happily and certainly not as a sacrifice. Or I would go and park myself in a place that is secluded where there are no door bells.

It'll make me sad but then its only one emotion that I'll have to deal with and not keep untangling a mess of emotions, perceptions, viewpoints, convictions and other erosive and piercing hysteria everyday. For me its not just getting a monetary return but its a constant struggle to balance my love for art with people's expectations from me and their hobby to put me in mould they could show off. It sound quite nice to say, I don't care about other people's expectations from me but what about having to constantly defend your choices, to justify yourself for deviating from the wonted rituality, dealing with guilt that close ones throw at perceived neglect. Doesn't it leave you tired to pick up a painbrush and paint without a headache.

Its nice to hear about an artist, read about his struggle but when you have a one as a close friend, relative or a neighbor what do you think of her?

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