My exhibit “Moments in Time” opens in a few days. The sculptures I’ve created for this exhibit explore life’s everyday candid moments. Moments that stir a familiar memory, a feeling, a reflection of modern life and, most importantly, they are presented in a happy or entertaining way. This is my style of art. In the fine art world this is not always accepted in a positive way. Good art is often equated with edginess, boldness and inner pain, whereas happy art or uplifting art is often equated with dullness, laziness and lack of creativity.
According to blogger Jeff Goins, he believes “There is an underlying sadness in all art, a melancholy we feel when we face true beauty. It’s that ache, that longing, that we can’t quite describe when we witness something truly wonderful.” http://goinswriter.com/sad-art/ I agree with this statement somewhat – I believe art should evoke a feeling, but art does not have to disturb us to qualify as good. What we feel does not have to be sadness, it could be joy, comfort, nostalgia. What is important is that we feel something. Perhaps it’s in happiness that art really flourishes. Many artists, including myself, experienced anguish and frustration in their early years as young artists and these feelings were often reflected in their art. Over time, as they master their techniques and skills and as they evolve and accept who they are as humans, they become happier and they make better art.
Sharon Salzberg wrote an article for the Huffington Post titled “What’s Better for Creativity: Depression or Happiness”. In the article she quotes the Dali Lama saying “In the West many people believe that creativity comes from torment, while in the East there is more of a tradition of great art coming from balance and realization.” She then goes on to say “I suspect that the Dalai Lama couldn’t even imagine the concept that one might cling to suffering for a creative edge or think of happiness as a dulling agent. Happiness in Buddhist teaching is seen as inner abundance, resourcefulness, the wellspring of energy within that allows us to serve, give, offer, create. If we don’t ever think we have enough, we’re not motivated to give. If we are depleted, exhausted, demoralized and despondent, we don’t nearly have the energy to help others, to express, to go forth and try to make a difference. So happiness isn’t at all seen as laziness but the foundation of very great activity of all kinds.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-salzberg/happiness-creativity_b_775573.html
On both Saturday, February 20th and 27th I will be at the Orange Art Gallery for a “Meet the Artist” event from noon to 3pm. I will talk about the stories and inspiration behind some of my sculptures in the exhibit and my journey to finding happiness.
Photos: Top – Playtime 17″ H x 14″W x 11″D Middle photos – Game Night 22″H x 15″ W x 15″ D Bottom Photo – The Bucket List 21″H x 8″W x 8″D