Hungry Philosopher and Starving Artists

Imagine,

( you are good at that my artist and creative friends),

you walk into my counseling office.

You seat yourself in a red mid-century modern chair. No arm rests. You fold your hands on your lap and notice that you are sitting upright. You allow yourself to lean into the back support. You look around for clues to what might happen next: the white board, the desk, the pens, the walls, me across from you. Your eyes rest on the rug under your feet. I ask you…..

How do you feel about your art?

You are most welcome to share your thoughts in the comments below or just hold them gently in your heart.

Hungry philosophers and starving artists are always looking to fill themselves with meaning and beauty. How do you endure the uncertain tide of human feelings, starting with your own? How do you allow as Betye Saar says “creative grieving”?

Artist Betye Saar with a background that includes social work and design, my hero, talks about risking ridicule in efforts to raise universal consciousness and in dealing with personal emotions. I wonder how she would answer my soft question. In a way it maybe easier to talk about the role of art for society than the role of art for you or your relationship to your own art.

“I think the chanciest thing is to put spirituality in art,” Ms. Saar says as she gently shifts elements of the assemblage around, trying this combination and that. “Because people don’t understand it. Writers don’t know what to do with it. They’re scared of it, so they ignore it. But if there’s going to be any universal consciousness-raising, you have to deal with it, even though people will ridicule you.”

“And you have to deal with personal emotions, because they’re there,” she added. “I think people are afraid of those too. My younger sister’s husband died this year. I said to her, you’ve got to start making something beautiful. Beauty is a form of spirituality. Once you start making something with your hands, the healing starts. I call this creative grieving.”

– Betye Saar

Thoughts? Questions? Comments?

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