30 September, 2009


My (Younger) Self and Friend Ryan in the Mountains

With your focus placed on what to paint for your award winning show, it is now appropriate to ask yourself if you have the commitment to make it happen. If you are going to win the prize, much time, pain and treasure will be poured into your efforts.

In my mountain climbing days, commitment was a tangible quality of some climbs. A given climb is described as "having commitment" if you ascend to a given point after which retreat becomes either undesirable or impossible. Going down is more difficult than going up to the summit. Or more deadly.

Having experienced this kind of palpable commitment in my past helps me in my artist's life now to commit to greater effort. Early wake ups. Late hours in the studio. Isolation. The amount of concentration required by your best efforts in the studio may leave you less focused on everyday life activities. Your friends may wonder where you've been. Conversations may be hard to carry on at first, and people may feel that your mind is "somewhere else."

Commitment means hard work. Commitment is also an attitude. Do you have the capacity to let your art live and flourish in you?

If you make the commitment, and you know what you're up against, then the prize awaits.


Ruth Armitage said...

I love the analogy between committment and mountain climbing. Thanks for inspiring in more ways than one...

Casey Klahn said...

I appreciate the comment, Ruth. In the many times that I have used the climbing analogy, you are the first person to say they "got" it.

I know climbing is an esoteric activity, but I have always thought it carries some universal narratives of struggle and success.

loriann signori said...

Excellent point Casey. For without real commitment, where are we?

Casey Klahn said...

Stay tuned for the next post on Content. I am having fun studying up on form vs. content, etc. I won't belabor that in my post, though!

Clive said...

Yowza, Casey, I'd have my 8mm scrambling rope and a harness or diaper harness out for this stuff, especially with those big monkeys on your backs! Thats what you do when you start climbing in your 50's!

Casey Klahn said...

No rope - that's what those skinny tree branches 'r for.

That was the 3 day traverse of The Brothers, with the North Brother first. Olympic Mtns.

Dawn Boyer said...

I know what you mean about having people think you're somewhere else. When I'm painting or writing, that's where I am. Art in any form is all consuming. It requires a world of its own, and you must live in that world, and leave the one around you to its own devices, at least for a while, because the soul settles for nothing less than complete immersion in the heart and imagination. It is almost holy, the way it takes over and transforms and transcends.

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