no creative act is ever finished

The grace to be a beginner  is always the best prayer for an artist. The beginner’s humility and openness lead to exploration. Exploration leads to accomplishment. All of it begins at the beginning, with the first small and scary step. Julia Cameron The Artist’s Way

Full Gallery

Being at the day after an artist reception and reflecting on the afternoon my ego wants to rant my artist desire to be in the glow of those moments, and to know that each step is a bit scary, each gallery meeting is a new beginning, each piece of work is chosen for a different show, a different audience, yet with the same purpose, to share beauty of the world with the world!

If I rant that only one of my friends attended and ask where were the others? I miss the beauty of my one friend that did attend, to offer support and encouragement. I miss the point of the other hundred or so people who flowed through the gallery from 2-4 enjoying the art, chatting with each other as they walked the halls, stopping to admire with wonder, with awe the multi talented painters, photographers, creators who offered their work for display and scrutiny of the trained and untrained eye .

Curator and Artist

For I go from this exhibit to another on Friday, as small solo show in center city Philadelphia. A new space, as space that I have not had much contact with since the original request for artist. I wrote about Balance Gallery before in an earlier blog, well that exhibit/reception is Friday July 1 from 6 -7 . I am gather the pieces for this show almost as we speak, going through old photographs that are framed, and considering a few new ones. I like to offer new work because it keeps things fresh for me. I get to experience a new photograph from the view of others viewing it.  There is a risk in each new exhibit, each new gallery, each new photograph taken and shared with the public, that risk is one of keeping my ego at bay, and giving it all up to the creative spirit that what I have chosen to show is in keeping with my goals and artistic values. Challenge is keeping it fresh, keeping new, staying humble while accepting praise for the work, the art. The praise is not about me, the enjoyment is the goal of having the work displayed.  Julia Cameron also writes “in a sense, no creative act is ever finished… It simply means that doing the work points the way to new and better work to be done.” 

Hall of discussion!

Not looking back but moving forward, yet asking what does my art have to do or be to get more attention? Positive attention, be careful for what you ask for. How do I get my friends to attend these functions? Or do I need to cultivate more like minded people, that are drawn to the arts? Of course I have to do that as well. So does my work have to change is some way? The Artist’s Wayalso states, “(f)ocused on process, our creative life retains a sense of adventure. Focused on product, the same creative life can feel foolish or barren.”  So with that statement in mind I continue to move forward. Being grateful for the supportive encouraging friends around the world who are with me in spirit each time I exhibit, each time I announce I am in the process of a new show. I am grateful to the people who I don’t know who come out to the gallery’s around the world that support all the artist who have taking those first scary steps and moved beyond product to process.

Exhibit piece

Growth Question: Process or product?  Is there a balance?

6 thoughts on “no creative act is ever finished”

  1. Jeff, I have been having some of these same musings as I prepare for my solo show, a group show and a new shared photography exhibit. I like the guidance of Julia Cameron that you have used to book end your thoughts and stunning photographs. I like that process and product are circular with no end – as long as we keep creating. Sometimes the public is intrigued and complementary of our work and sometimes they are critical and disconnected. Our job, as you so astutely point out, is to remain detached and open as we continue our creative journey. Great post and a great question Jeff.

    1. Terrill,

      Thank you for your comments. I knew you would get it. Plus the blog is a way to process the effects of an exhibit/reception.
      Detachment to the out come is the answer, in other words let go and let God/Goddess!!!

      Best of luck with your shows !!! I know you will be a success!!!

  2. Jeff – The aerial view photo you took makes me feel like I’m right there. And the last photograph makes me feel as if I’ve received a gift — THANK YOU.

    Growth Question: Process or product? Is there a balance?

    As a Libra [the scales] I definitely believe there can be delightful balance between process and product.

    1. Laurie,

      The aerial shot is from the open floor above. I thought it was a great way to capture the crowd. The photographs are always a gift, a gift of nature to share her beauty! I am glad you have received such a gift.

      The balance of the scales! Ah yes!!!

  3. Oh, No! I am one of those friends who wants desperately to come to one of your exhibits! I need about 30 days notice and an address so I can take the day off work and drive up to Philadelphia (when you exhibit there). It is only about a 3-hour drive from Maryland. I love your creative process. That picture with the red leaves is outstanding. You have such a gift with your camera lens in capturing these little breaths of life. I vow to make more money this year so I can purchase a piece to keep with me at home.

    1. Barbara,

      Your intentions are clear and one of these days both of those events will happen!

      The exhibit in Philadelphia is Friday July 1, 6-7 pm Balance Gallery 112 S. 20th Street Philadelphia Pa.
      I will be sending out facebook invite either this evening or tomorrow!

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