After I posted my blog a few days ago on Caruncho, I heard from a dear friend that I was defending masculine design. I thought, yes, I was sharing my appreciation for understanding it. But then I let the comment slide. Or so I thought.
But it’s been hovering in the background as I’ve been noticing how I work and what works for me. For the last week, I’ve had an assignment to write 12 answers to a question that I’m mulling, each day a different question. So, I sit down with paper and pen. And I write. I write to produce an answer. My questions are about my art. The direction, future, next… etc.
I don’t know, but was I looking for that geometric image? A solid design idea? A defined end point? What I’m realizing over the course of the week is that the answer(s) are not going to come from my writing. I’m not going to get an “a-ha!” product. Not by writing. Not in a straight line.
For me, the art has to be something that arrises, that unfolds. I can’t make it happen. Or FIND it with words. Instead, I somehow I have to trust this crazy, unpredictable, unknowable, constantly unfolding process. A more feminine route, perhaps?
This whole masculine/feminine contrast reminds me of this experience I had a number of years ago. I had been living in Northampton, in the western part of Massachusetts. It’s an artsy, dynamic town. Lots of projects happening all the time – and people shared everything: their process was as important or more important than the product. There were some wild, experimental performance and visual art to be seen. Finished was not the criteria. The topic of conversation in Northampton was: “What are you working on now?”
And then I moved to Boston. By contrast, the topic of conversation there was, “What have you done?” What do you have to show for yourself? Was it in a museum? That’s what mattered. As for what you’re working on: who cared.
Now, just to be fair, I kind of welcomed Boston at the time. Process can go on and on and on. It was fun to be reaching for that end product. That something to say, “I did that”.
So yes, I appreciate both. I LOVED all that rough, wild, over-the-top art that was so extraordinary, regardless of whether it was “known” elsewhere. And I also love the idea of finishing something and putting it out there. The more feminine process part, the more masculine product part: both valuable.
I just say, thank goodness, I had the opportunity to experience that appreciation of process. In a world that is more like Boston than Northampton, in my mind, it’s important to appreciate that – well, that uncharted territory where it all comes into being.