Monday, July 9, 2012

garden wisdom

Yesterday I went to visit my family in East Texas. This is where I grew up. I always seem to come away with something to think about.

Right now i am thinking about something my father said to me while picking okra. I wasn't sure at what point he wanted it to be picked. I was worried i was picking it too early. What if he wanted it to grow a bit more? when i asked him he said, "oh you gotta just pick it. If you leave it too long the plant stop producing. It quits growing. It thinks it has fullfilled its' purpose."

"it thinks it has fullfilled its' purpose if you don't pick the fruits of its' labor"......

I have been thinking about this all night...and how it applies to, artwork, children...

I was thinking about how important it is to allow people to grow, to allow them to produce not only good fruits, but to encourage it by accepting the gifts they present to you and the world. How, when these gifts, fruits, aren't acknowledged, this is the same thing as discouraging growth...

How often do we do this to ourselves?
How often do we do this to each other?

Was there something you wanted to do in life that you didn't feel encouraged about and let it go? And if so, why are you waiting for someone else to encourage you?  Why not just encourage yourself? Yeah I know the concept of picking your own fruit, when you think about it in terms of plants...well, it doesn't really work...but in life, there comes a point, when you just have to either decide to stop growing or move forward, discard the old fruit and move on to make more.

How can I apply this to my artwork?

For me, I can get hung up in the past or the negative words of others very easily. Especially when it comes to artwork. Thinking of old projects, old critiques, old artists I knew in the past....and all that does is hang me up...when really I just need to move forward. Pluck the old fruit and give it away.  Moving forward allows my work to change and evolve with me. I'd like to think I am better today than I was in the past, but maybe not. And my artwork certainly isn't the same as it was 15 years ago, and that is ok. My artistic goals aren't the same. And that is ok too.

What it comes down to, is, as an artist, do you want to stay stagnant? Do you want to stay in the past with your work? Or do you want o move forward? Is your purpose fulfilled? If not, what is next?

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