these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.

thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.

my artist website is here.

May 13, 2010

prime time. and rambling...

i have spent the morning priming canvas outside and drinking too much coffee. 3 new big beauties. and the sun is up but it has yet to get warm. it is a good day already. the grunt work of preparation is becoming more and more therapeutic for me. a release. and also a forward march. movement. sweat. the back and forth dance of rotating canvasses and applying gesso, layer by layer, until it is time to dive in to the fat white and wrestle with the real work. there is a cleansing attribute. it clarifies and relieves the pressure to do something "grand" or "genius". the building aspect of a canvas reinforces the fact that the image is constructed. i leave the sides of the canvas raw as a nod toward its materiality. it is not The Truth and does not aspire to that status either. it is a perception. there is no right or wrong, only honest. my end in all this is to be responsible for the perceptions i throw out in to the world... but only insofar as realizing the importance of striving to be as accurate about my perceptions as possible. to be articulate, thoughtful, brave... and thereby create a space for dialogue. art is not one-sided. the looker is sometimes more important than the maker. i am not a genius and honestly don't want that type of pressure on my practice or my life in general. artists are not gods. i don't want the responsibility of The Savior. ART, as an event or instance or thing in the world, is a Savior... but i'm not. i am human and only really aspire to add to the human conversation... to toss my splinters in to the pile. to engage, to think, to play... but not dominate or command or merely entertain. my responsibility is to choose which splinters to add... not to be lazy about it or thoughtless. because there is no such thing as "best" when it comes to art, but there is such a thing as "smart". and there is such a thing as a well-worked out, hard-won, wrestled and polished set of ethics. and there is such a thing as integrity too. integrity is not a rear-guard notion. nor is it idealistic. it is a big-time necessity. "compromise" is not always a virtue.

yesterday, i sat down and really looked at the work i've made since the start of the year. it is so different from what i was working on last year. and DRASTICALLY different from what i was doing two years ago. the growth that has taken place during the last 2 years is tremendous... and so i suppose it's normal to feel so worn out some days. growth spurts are exhausting. and so i find myself feeling like i'm on the eve of something lately. eve of what, i have no idea... but i'm going to chase the thing down. and i won't take any short cuts. i'm in it for the long haul. i decided a long long time ago to trust the work, to trust this path, and no amount of rejection or loneliness will make me stop trusting it. the art life can be very isolating sometimes. but i'm really beginning to see the silver lining to that. everyone wrestles alone when they're trying to create a set of ethics or establish a life-philosophy that feels right. i have guides and inspirations and heroes and teachers, but i am the tailor of my own life and work. no one can trim and hem the edges for me. i must trust my ability to wield the shears, in that regard. and if i make a mistake, i can sew things back together.


Roz said...

Damn, Angela:
"integrity is not a rear-guard notion"

A thousand times yes.

Now more than ever, integrity must be the edge that leads. In art, and elsewhere in life as well.

Your words inspire me.

angela simione said...

thank you so much for this, roz. i feel in such a strange minority the majority of the time when it comes to this. you encourage me and i am so grateful for that.

the edge that leads... that's simply gorgeous.

a thousand thank yous for your thousand yeses. :)