Artists are Real People

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Beauty is Embarrassing is one of my favorite documentaries; it’s about the artist Wayne White. My mom, who is also an artist, recommended the film. I’ve watched it three times, and could easily go back for a fourth.

I generally get antsy watching TV or movies; just ask my friends and family–they find this an annoying trait. I can’t help it, though; I feel the scant painting hours slipping away. I do, however, appreciate documentaries and movies about other artists, and whenever I lose steam in my own art practice, a good art documentary usually restores my energy and gives me a sense of connection to other artists.

Watching such movies, I listen for the ways the artists’ lives and art practices inter-relate. The therapist in me is as curious about who they are as what they make. I also pay attention to their fears, insecurities, and failures, and how they interact with patrons and critics. I notice when I start comparing my story to theirs and judging myself as less adequate, and I try to rest back into curiosity and connection. I’m drawn to artists who are open about who they are and share their creative process freely.

Which reminds me of something a therapy mentor said recently, “Real people are attractive people.” I’d have to agree.

And, if anyone is a real person, Wayne White is. Check him out.

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