On Daybook

I can't put this book down, a sort of artist's memoir. Anne Truitt's Daybook. These three quotes, who rolled together in just a few pages, have haunted me:

I do not understand why I seem able to make what people call art. For many long years I struggled to learn how to do it, and I don’t even know why I struggled. Then, in 1961, at the age of forty, it became clear to me that I was doing work I respected within my own strictest standards . Furthermore, I found this work respected by those whose understanding of art I valued. My first, instinctive reaction to this new situation was, if I’m an artist, being an artist isn’t so fancy because it’s just me. But now, thirteen years later, there seems to be more to it than that. It isn’t “just me.” A simplistic attitude toward the course of my life no longer serves.  Truitt, Anne (2013-10-08). Daybook, Turn, Prospect: The Journey of an Artist (Kindle Locations 209-214). Scribner. Kindle Edition.

The pressure to earn a living confronts a fickle public taste. Artists have to please whim to live on their art. They stand in fearful danger of looking to this taste to define their working decisions. Sometime during the course of their development, they have to forge a character subtle enough to nourish and protect and foster the growth of the part of themselves that makes art, and at the same time practical enough to deal with the world pragmatically. They have to maintain a position between care of themselves and care of their work in the world, just as they have to sustain the delicate tension between intuition and sensory information. This leads to the uncomfortable conclusion that artists are, in this sense, special because they are intrinsically involved in a difficult balance not so blatantly precarious in other professions. Truitt, Anne (2013-10-08). Daybook, Turn, Prospect: The Journey of an Artist (Kindle Locations 221-226). Scribner. Kindle Edition.

What worries me is that I try so hard to be sensitive to the variations in my energy level, and fail so often. It frightens me that my children’s security is dependent on my unsturdy, unstable body. Also, the preemptive images that present themselves to me in my conception of my work are on a scale way out of proportion to my capacity to bring them into being. Truitt, Anne (2013-10-08). Daybook, Turn, Prospect: The Journey of an Artist (Kindle Locations 232-235). Scribner. Kindle Edition.