Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa. So you caught that title, right? It's Hard To See Where You Are Going When Your Vision Is Blurred. Did you already guess we are having a discussion about vision today?
Let's start at the beginning. The weather guys were a bit ominous on the morning news today. Here in central Iowa we have been given the heads up. TheBlizzard. A foot or so, and wind-wind-wind. The BigWhite. For those of us who like to run 3 or 4 times a week and can not abide running on the detested treadmill, it was quite obvious that Monday AM was one of few chances in the near future. I headed east up Russell Street. Ni-cccce. The street is clear AND dry. Perfect. As the elementary school comes into view, there are less trees. Not as much to slow the wind. My tear ducts go on full alert. Yikes. That wind is biting way more thank I had planned. By the time I reached the school corner, I had a full scale tear duct onslaught happening. My vision was definitely blurred, but I already had my route planned so I was okay. Hey, and by the time I finally headed back west, the wind blew me home. That was nice, too :)
Lucky you. This discussion requires two anecdotes to get us to the point. Bear with me, please. Last week at our bible study group, one guy was absent. Home with a bad back. His wife, tongue-in-cheek, related he needs to be more specific when he asks God for something. He'd asked for a couple of days off....
Now for the advise du jour. We need to patch those two stories together. From paragraph #1, pull out the word VISION. From paragraph #2, pull up SPECIFIC. And what do ya' get? Vision with specifics.
We are just now clearing month number one of 2011. 99% of all new year's resolutions have been ignored into oblivion. What's an artist to do? My FASO friend Marian Fortunati is one of those 1% people---you should go read her blog about that--note that she also goes back and reviews her goals at the end of the year to aid in determining the following year's plan. But for the 99% group, what CAN we do?
We know we have to have goals. Every artist-mentor tells us that. Without direction or vision, we will run aimlessly and never meet our artistic goals. And if the only vision we have is a blurry one--yikes! I think we need to get more specific. (you may need to revert back to paragraph #2 here) Quit with the grandiose plans that are so general, no one can tell if you get there or not.
You may already know that I try to exhibit at several summer art fairs each year. There is a loosely organized rating system for art fairs--I have another artist friend who gives them A,B,C,D and UTTERFAILURE categories. We end up at seeing each other at art fairs often because we both like the B category. We commiserate when we accidentally end up at a C level show ("I thought it was supposed to be better than this!") and seriously-at-all-costs avoid D level and it's followup. But that A category...famous artists sometimes exhibit at those, you know. I would love to get one of those on my schedule.
So there. I've said it. It's out in the open. A specific goal/direction/vision. And we've already juried for a lot of the A list shows this year, and I've gotten a whole bunch of no-votes. But there are still some coming. And I am painting like crazy to bump that level of work up just a notch or two more. Stay tuned. And I'll try to keep my schedule page updated as well!
Isn't there an old phrase about "nothing like getting right to the point"? Yeah, vision with specifics, I am a fan.