Sunday, October 28, 2012

What's Next?

Handsome Husband and I were chatting recently about ideas and themes I wanted to explore soon.
 I was tossing out ideas right and left; another painting-a-day series, a highway series, a batch of itty bitty pieces or maybe some great big square canvases would be interesting. Skies, tree rows, open fields, alley-ways or maybe even some still life paintings would be appealing. Oooh! I saw some collages that looked like fun! And there was this abstract piece…

True to form, HH cut through the fog and said, “What’s your goal here?”
2012 Patricia Scarborough 4x6 oil Patterns of Spring

For the last couple of years my focus has been in interpreting the landscape of central Nebraska in the best way I can. My goal was to be prepared to exhibit whenever invited to do so, and to provide the best work I could for these opportunities. I’ve been honored with multiple exhibits to showcase the work I’ve done in this vein. I feel comfortable saying I achieved my intent.

Faced with an open calendar and time to explore, I find no easy response to HH's question.
I don’t have an answer.

I don’t have an answer because this is real life, and solving the riddle of Now What? is not as easy as picking from a list of multiple choice responses.  I don’t get an A for picking the best answer or for impressing Handsome Husband – or you – with my cleverly worded statement of intent.
Whew. This is going to take some thought. In fact, even as I sit here ready and willing to type out the answer to that question my fingers hit the delete button as often as they pick out words to explain my intentions. That fact alone should tell me something.
So, rather than continuing the rhythmic typing-deleting-typing-deleting that I’ve been engaged in for the last hour, how about I spend some time over the next weeks or months pondering this idea.  There’s no deadline to sweat. No expectations other than my own to deal with.

2012 Patricia Scarborough Reconciliation II 9x24 oil
I do know that I want to learn to paint really well. In the end that may be enough. I’ll let you know.
In the meantime:

The Museum of Nebraska Art’s Kaleidoscope of Art event is the weekend of November 3 and 4th. I’ll be there with some really lovely small paintings for you.
My Norfolk Arts Center exhibit titled Common Ground will open November 8th through December 29th.  Opening reception is Thursday November 15th from 6 to 8 pm.
Make it your goal to stop by and see what I’ve been up to.

4 comments: said...

I like the fact that you're giving yourself time to mull things over--knowing that as life brings up more life (as it so adeptly does!) that the answers will come. Do you ever find that taking the work out on the road helps you get some distance (no pun intended) and provokes new thoughts on 'what's next?"

Patty said...

Yes! As the curator at Norfolk Arts Center and I lined up 25 paintings for hanging recently I was pleased. Seeing the body of work together settled a few ideas and prompted a few more.
We'll see...

Karine Swenson said...

Sometimes I wonder if all of this "goal" mentality gets in the way of making art. When we get so tied up in the "goal", which is usually an end product, we forget about the process. I could be wrong.

All I know is that when I start thinking about direction or where I should be going, I am paralyzed, and can't paint at all. When I go in the studio, humbly, and just paint, then the work comes.

Patty said...

Thank you for your thoughtful remarks, Karine. I can count on you for clarity.
You make a great point about goals getting in the way.
The goals I'm thinking of are probably more like clarifications of where I'm going or what I want to accomplish. In the end it may well be that I simply want to paint.