Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Anne Truitt

     This last week I've been reading Prospect, The Journal of an Artist, by Anne Truitt, a sculptor from Washington, DC. who died in 1993.  It's the second book I've read by her, the first being Daybook, The Journal of an Artist.  In each of them she writes about her life, both as an artist and a mother.  In Prospect, she also writes about aging and about having to go into retirement and how sidelined she feels by that. 

     Anne Truitt was a sculptor who created large monolithic sculptures out of wood then painted them to a beautiful luster.  I haven't seen any of them in real life, but here are some pictures of them.  If you Google her, you can see more of them.  Most of the major museums in the country have her work in them.

     What I really appreciate her is the way she expresses herself and the things she writes about creativity and being an artist and a mother and a human being.  Here are some quotes from her that really appeal to me:
      "I've struggled all my life to get maximum meaning in the simplest possible form," she said in an interview with The Washington Post in 1987.
     "When I swept wide brushes over large areas, I felt profoundly attuned to both structure and paint, as if I were doing what I had been born to do."   (I can completely relate to "as if I were doing what I had been born to do."  I feel that way when I'm in the studio painting and creating  or talking with people about my latest series and what I'm trying to convey.)

     "Artists have no choice but to express their lives," Mrs. Truitt wrote. "They have only . . . a choice of process. This process does not change the essential content of their work in art, which can only be their life."   The subject I paint changes, but I'm always, at core, trying to discover more about myself and about the human condition, no matter what I'm depicting.  I want to learn more about how the world really looks.  In re-creating it in 2 dimensions, I come to know it more thoroughly and to understand it better.

     From Prospect: "I learned too that if a concept is sufficiently clear and strong, it magnetizes events.  I had not known that intent was in itself so powerful.  I was amazed by how my way was made smooth."  I find this to be true as well.  When I'm clear about a series I'm working on, as I am about Authentic Flesh, events coincide to make things flow - models come to me to let me photograph them; people get in touch through the internet asking to collaborate; I get extra time off work to paint more; I learn of shows my work would show well in, etc., etc.  It's miraculous the way things come together when I'm clear what I'm trying to accomplish.

"I knew that this work looked odd, that I was in an exalted state of mind, possessed, but the authenticity of my impulse was so strong that it carried all before it.  I remember thinking that no matter what the things I was making looked like, I would make them anyway."  There are people in my life who don't understand why I paint naked people - if I paint so well, why can't I do something pretty that people want to see?  My impulse is so strong that it carries all before it!  No matter what the things I am making look like, I will make them anyway!  Thank you, Anne Truitt, for the words!


No comments:

Post a Comment