small worries

I had gone to bed worried about 2 things :

1) Is my work large or dramatic enough to say anything about war? Many drawings are small, in size  and in subject: mothers and children who were close to home and did not have the ability or luxury to think in terms of the big picture.

2) Why am I putting out work about war and not work that is more obviously what people might want to buy, or about the beauty of the world or work that is easier to look at, I love abstract and sketching from life, why am I not leading with that?

In the morning I read an article about June Leaf.  Learning about her work seemed like a reply to my worries. Her work is small, it was close to home, yet it contains the whole drama of life. Both June Leaf’s work and this quote from the article reassured my doubts about my work:

“When you ask an artist why they make work, they might respond with: “because I have no choice”. For people outside the art world this doesn’t always make sense. Artists are referring to an inner drive that compels them to make work. This explains why artists might make art despite no evidence of exhibition or sales. People start off making art for all kinds of reasons: pleasure, amusement, approval, fame and money to name a few; however, what keeps them making work over an extended period of time is usually an inexplicable need to create.” ~ Wendy Welch

leaf1_785_1000_90
June Leaf, Woman Carrying Infant Upstairs, 2011, acrylic on paper on tinplate, 11 x 12.5 inches.

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