Thursday, March 22, 2012

Track #1 and Track #2

This past Monday we hung a show at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center.  We are three artists with two landscape painters and one metal artist.  As often happens after hanging a show I am having a difficult time getting back to work.  It is understandable that my mind while hanging the show would be on the various monetary issues of being an artist, like framing, marketing, prices, websites, advertising, etc, etc.....Once the show is hung it is time to get back to the work.  That is when the art mind needs to dominate and I cannot seem to get the mercenary mind to shut up.  

Steven Pressfield writes an excellent article about Track #1 and Track #2.  Here is a link to the complete article.  Steven Pressfield.  

Below are some quotes from the article that I wish to talk about.
"Track #1, the Muse Track, represents our work in its most authentic, true-to-itself and true-to-our-own-heart expression.
Track #2, the Commercial Track, represents the response our work gets in the marketplace.  In other words, points to:
Everybody loves it.
Everybody hates it.
Nobody notices that it even exists.
The antidote is remaining grounded on Track #1."
It is natural after all the work of getting a show together and hung that a normal healthy person would want to know what people think.  Therein lies a great problem.   The danger of this is if everybody loves it then you keep painting the same painting over and over again.  Or if everybody hates it you completely stop, or even worse try and find a gimmick.  

It is wonderful to get a show hung and out for people to see.  The danger is caring too much and defining myself by the opinion of others.  As Steven Pressfield says: "nothing good ever came from that.  Even success can be bad.  In fact success can be worse than failure.  How many actors have won Oscars in Year X, only to vanish into rehab in Year X+1?"

Now I need to get to work!


Donna T said...

Interesting article, Donna. It does seem hard to balance those two tracks. Best of luck with the show! I hope there will be many red dots!

Donna Van Tuyl said...

Thank you Donna. I have started a new painting and feeling good so far. It is good to be back at work.