Thursday, October 6, 2016

Failure is the Journey

A Man and his Beer Van is almost ten years old.  My general person has seen so much evolution over the course of the making of this blog.  The past two years have been filled with, "I'm backs," "I'm going to get around to its," and, "I've accepted its."  Ten years is a significant amount of time.  This blog has changed immensely and it is obviously reflective of me.

I am currently going through some of the most fierce emotions that I have ever felt.  After three years of marriage, my wife has determined that this is the wrong path.  We've been split up, but living in the same apartment, for roughly three months now.  I've received advice from a number of people, friends who have emerged from the woodwork from high school and graduate school, to my ex-fiance.  It is comforting to know that these people care about me.  It is more comforting, however, to feel as confident as I have in my own person.  I've still managed to create every day.  I have continued to create my fishing fly watercolors everyday, worked more in more in tiny sketchbooks, and even started to clean up studio a bit, working on larger pieces again and gearing up to create a miniature gallery space in the corner.  I have not been idle.  I am proud of this.

I have been worried about what will happen to my son.  He is the single most important person and priority that I have on this Earth.  I have changed, my artwork has changed, my goals have changed, and my expectations have changed, and it is all for the better.  

When I started this blog, I started with a poem written while driving a beer van.  I moved on to sketches and ideas and my thought process.  I then became obsessed with the idea that each move that I made needed to be commercial.  I needed a style.  The blog was a good way to make people aware of my various attempts at pitching products.

Now I am teaching art, however.  I have been to graduate school and spend my days with a 2 year old.  To say that I think the perspectives of 26 year old me are limited is perhaps an overstatement, but I would say that my perspectives have expanded.  I am more interested in a broader range of mediums, ideas, and styles.  I do not think that this has hindered me as an artist.  What I do think, is that often times, we become so focused on being a thing, that we lose sight of enjoying the journey.  I talk about this a lot, but I wonder how much I actually allow myself to live it.  

My journey has been immensely fruitful.  I am content with how I live my life, the people that I have met and choose to keep, and with being a father.  I am content with making art in whatever manner I can.  Sometimes I feel restrained by my responsibilities, tied to a lifestyle that doesn't seem to fit the goals that I thought I had.  But as I sit writing this, I can see that I am now making sketches, drawings, and thoughts bridging the parallels between the quietude that I experience in living with my son, the mercurial waves of urban development and destruction, and nature.  I am finally finding what my work is about.  I cannot see the future, but I bet that I will continue to feel more pleased with my work as time passes.  

As to this blog, I've determined that I would like to return to my roots a bit more.  I am tired of showing pieces in progress as my process has changed.  I am more interested in the ideas and thoughts that are crossing my dome.  That is what I'd like to do here.  Here are a few recent images from one of my tiny sketchbooks that I've been working in from Albertine Press.  They are wonderful books with some good paper.  You should check them out if you like working small but with mixed media.

In conclusion, I'm feeling more comfortable in being what I am, making what I make, and working how I work.  I am sure that the manner in which I work will change more as I grow older, but now, at 36 and working through a divorce, I feel like I am the most pleased with the work that I make that I have ever been.  I think that it is reflexive of my life.  Both are full of failures and that is wonderful. Failure leads to new opportunities.  Failure is another chance.  Failure is the journey.

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