famous sculptor

Go Big or Go Bust: Day 199 (musing about the emotional life of birds while I paint the barn)

I was painting the barn this morning and thinking about last night.  We'd been at a friend's house for dinner and I was sitting next to a very successful sculptor.  She mentioned that she was having a hard time with small pieces, that big pieces are easier for her.  (And when she says 'big' she means 'huge'.)  And then she went on, that when she finishes the piece she's working on, she's going to go back to drawing.  The impression I got was that she was going to spend weeks, maybe months, drawing.

Her humility and her acceptance of the trouble she was having surprised me as did her solution to go back to square one.  This is a woman who has shown in the best galleries and been famous for decades.  And that she would talk so frankly about her difficulties moved me, especially because we'd only met one other time.

But aside from being inspired by her openness and her humility, her solution (to go back to drawing) made me jealous.  It's such a simple solution!  Everybody knows that drawing is the basis of visual art.  That's how I got started on the path to becoming an artist and that's what I did at the Beaux-Arts for years, learning to 'see'.  But never having gone to film school, I don't even know what would be the equivalent for a filmmaker.  And BOOM, the answer came flying at me: it would be listening. 

The next thing I heard was the birds above me, a combination of crows and pigeons.  And very quickly, more was revealed: there was a whiner in the group.  Most of the birds were going about their business, talking in a chipper or businesslike way while they got their worm breakfasts ... all except for this one bird.  He sounded like he was feeling very sorry for himself, the bird equivalent of moaning.  And he kept repeating his miserable moan, over ... and over.  And over.  All I could think of was his poor mother who must be embarrassed by his behavior but powerless to control or hide it.  Even if you sent a bird to his room-equivalent, everybody would still have to listen to him. 

And then it hit me that it's likely that birds (and most animals) live in a state of acceptance, that they probably don't even label this bird 'A Whiner'.  It's hard to imagine that they don't recognize that he's got issues, but it seems more likely that they're just "There he goes again."

As this seems to be coming at me from every angle, I'm going to take it as my homework for the day - work on *acceptance*.