I found this week’s writing task difficult. I don’t think I have trouble breaking art rules, as I’ll give most things a go. I think my major issue is getting my work to match the idea in my head. I’m not even talking about perfectionism (although I do have tendencies in that area!), but more conceptually - the meaning that I want the work to have. Now, as I write this, I remember that my struggle with this the last few years, has been quite frustrating. Maybe I need to let go of my ‘rule’ that art HAS to have meaning, apart from its aesthetic appeal.
Drawing is another area that I have had issues with. Although, I’m not as terrified of this as I once was. I went to a workshop with Ruth Hadlow (an Australian textile artist) who was the first person I’d heard talk about drawing as more that capturing a true likeness, but as a tool for collecting information or research. I try and keep this in mind when I am sketching something or planning a piece of work.
I know that the idea of this task was to discuss art rules we could think about breaking, but the whole idea of being rebellious made me think back over my life and how I’ve always been seen as a bit of a rebel in my immediate and extended family. My first rebellious act, or the first one I can remember, is in Primary School when I was in Year 2 and wanted to join the choir (how rebellious!). The problem was only children in Year 3 and up were allowed, so I had to get special permission, which I did. It seemed to set the pattern and I have numerous stories where I pushed boundaries, however small. Special permission to take woodwork, although I ended up not going ahead with it. Leaving home to go to Teacher’s college 4 hours from home and having my Uncle tell me that it would kill my mother. It just wasn’t done in my Italian family to leave home before marriage.
I don’t know where this slightly rebellious streak has come from, but I give thanks for it all the time. When friends start talking about not having hobbies, or time for themselves my reply is that I have a lazy streak that prevents me being too perfectionist about housework, etc. However, what I really think is that it’s self-preservation. I know what I need to be content. It may not always happen, but I know I need down time, time reading and time making.