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Our Own Way

Our Own Way
May 22, 2019 Kate Gatski

While Bob Ross has us believing in “happy little clouds” and “happy little trees,” an artistic pursuit is not always so, well…“happy.” I often feel like, dare I say it, there is tension in it. We find ourselves stretching to create something unexpected while also trying to build upon well-established designs. This can feel like more like tug-of-war, and less like skipping down the lane.

Before you roll your eyes, I’ll be the first to admit that this is a privileged challenge. But it is a real one for us nonetheless. Perhaps there is a technical term for the tension in the artistic process? Once again my lack of art training leaves me in the dark. Let me know if you know of a word that describes the balance between striking out with your art versus staying in familiar territory.

Just like with Bob, I’m also questioning Marie Kondo’s mantra (she’s the tidying-up lady I was hearing a lot about a few months ago). To share my own summary, she encourages us to give thanks to objects and then get rid of them. If you were to see our attic, you would probably suggest I do just that – put my hands together in thanks, order a dumpster, and get busy. But alas, around here we are all too familiar with a phenomenon called “tidier’s remorse.”

It happened to us just recently. Ben had been hanging onto a big chunk of angle iron for years and years, figuring he could use it some day. He finally decided to toss it in the scrap bin, in a burst of being sick and tired of stepping over it. Sure enough, just a month or so later we received an order for some angle iron tables. Long live the hoarders!

Ok, one more random example of questioning popular endorsements. We will not turn to owners of racehorses for naming tips. While I have often lamented that we are very poor at naming our pieces, it’s not likely that the Jockey Club is the one to turn to. The other weekend, as we were choosing a horse to win the Kentucky Derby (based solely on its name, of course), we were amazed – as we always are – by all the wonderfully obscure and illogical (at least to us) horse names.

And so this leaves us with some completely rational wisdom – don’t trust an over-enthusiastic painter, master tidier, or horse owner! Ha!

I’m kidding, of course…and as you know, the truth is we’ll always find any reason to go it our own way!

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