At this special time of year, Lolita tries to make some special effort to connect with her Creator, with her partner in creative life, and to offer thanks for all the gifts given her (including Deuce!) .
Lolita became particularly aware recently that her artistic gifts can be for a blessing or a curse. One of these gifts, the inherent drive of the artist to create, actually made Lolita a little sick this month.
What happened? Well – she commenced a short project around the beginning of December. The idea was to create about a minute of music for a lovely tree landscape of Pennsylvania artist David Bottini. Bottini’s works masterfully apply light’s subtle effects on subjects and this painting was no exception to the rule. The work, entitled “Sparkling Summer Morning” featured morning light sparkling and glistening off of tree leaves.
As with all projects, Lolita took some time thinking about what she wanted to accomplish, the feeling she wished to convey, the harmonic and melodic vocabulary she would use. And then she proceeded to execute, with baby steps, her carefully laid plans. During this execution phase of the artist’s work, the commitment to the project deepens. And as the connection to the work deepens, an urgency to bring the work to completion develops.
This sense of urgency to complete creative work is hardwired into the artistic personality. It is an emotion which benefits from a little management. In the case of our beloved Composer of Music for Art, there was a little mismanagement during this particular project that created some uncomfortable stress. Coupled with the natural urgency Lolita was feeling about her composition for the Bottini work, she was under some greater than usual pressures at her day job, and also with issues respecting the holiday season and social relationships. It might have behooved Lolita to catch her breath, to acknowledge that the project would not finish so quickly. Instead she pushed herself hard, became stressed out about the pace of the project’s completion, and had to take a day off to finish the piece.
Her composition did finish more quickly, and with a decent result – but residing in the work, sadly, is a tension, a hard quality, which is not so consonant with the gentle character of the painting.
Talking over this experience in the last few days with Deuce, it occurred to Lolita that she might have stayed on the creative wave of this project for a few more days, to stay with the urgency another week if necessary, to allow her experience of this project to integrate and flow with the overall experience of her life.
As a seasoned artist, you have come to grips with the challenge of reconciling the powerful impulse to complete creative work with the realities of life’s daily demands. Beyond this, you have actually come to understand the deeper connections, the hidden relationships between the external events currently driving your life and the creative work in which you are currently engaged.
If we can enjoy the discovery of these hidden relationship between experience of mundane life and our creative life, we can better channel our creative impulse, endure the pressure, the sense of urgency, for whatever time is necessary, and thus sit and live with our projects for the duration necessary to allow a full gestation.
And rather than becoming sick, we become stronger – stronger individuals, stronger artists.