...........................a final resolution to the so-called Middle East crisis is so important. It is vital not just to break this cycle of destruction and injustice, but also to deny the religious extremists in the region who feed on the conflict an excuse to advance their own causes.
But everywhere one looks, among the speeches and the desperate diplomacy, there is no real way forward. A just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians is possible, but it…
Myanmar, as we knew it, is disappearing
I have been to Myanmar three times, first in 2005, next in 2010 and just lately, in February of 2013. It is startling, and depressing at the same time, to see how the country, as it changes, is being distorted by the influx of tourists. Of course I understand that most of the changes are good for…Continue
There are lots of artists around. Virtually everyone who has tried to create or evn thought about creating considers herself or himself an artist and is certain that, given the opportunity to write or paint or draw or sculpt or photograph, their real artist will burst from the drab chrysalis and reveal the exquisite butterfly of talent within, of course leaving that ugly worm-like pupa behind.
There is an interesting discussion on this at reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/writing/comments/yopk4/are_we_all_aware_that_99_of_us_are_delusional/) and the tag line is “Are we all aware that 99% of us are delusional, untalented, and lack the necessary drive to ever be successful as writers?”
Substitute your chosen art in this sentence in place of 'writing' and you get the idea. Woody Allen said that 95% of life is just showing up and that may be true that it takes some amount of tenacity to work on something and rework it until it passes one's own test for 'good.' But the ability to judge one's own work is limited; after all, we all think are children are beautiful and talented yet the reality is that, to an unbiased observer, most babies are red and gnomelike and most children are noisy, obnoxious and unpleasant little brutes whose only saving graces are that they are small anf easily overcome and they tend to sleep long hours.
Back to the main point. Anyone who tries to create, who tries to be an artist, comes up against the fact that even attempting real art does requires a great deal of work but the product of that work becomes art only when it is magnified by some otherwise indiscernible talent. And when the end product of our labor is only some lump of work and obviously not art, then comes the painful point of reality arrowing right in.
I have been a photographer for a good long time now and have become technically proficient in the areas I practice. Yet, there is an enormous gap between the ability to see and capture something in a meaningful manner and the that higher level of ability where the work is transformed into art.
The most painful part of this is that my critical sense has grown far past my artistic abilities. I can appreciate the creative process that illuminates the best work while being aware that while I can mimic what has been done, I cannot originate this kind of, that level of work.
The praise of my equals is not enough to overcome my own more real appraisal; that praise, the kind of group support so common on the Internet, being driven in part by a social need to act well towards friends and the unspoken hope that the same reward will be returned;.
So I work on, always driven by my need to create, yet always pained by the knowledge that, regardless of my best efforts, my work is only in most cases documenting what I see and lacks the vital spark of creativity I see so clearly in the best of artists.