Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Resilience During Recession

"The world is but a canvas to the imagination." ~Henry David Thoreau

When people occasionally ask me if I see the glass as half-empty or half-full I reply that "it depends on what's in the glass". Despite its cheekiness I think there is truth to the statement. What is it that makes your life pithy, filled with beautiful complexity or graceful simplicity? How did you get to where you are, do you savor the moment, and what do you wish to do with the exciting days before you?

These last few months have seen a decided dip in our economy. Recession has gripped the world and like it or not we are all affected. I remain optimistic that history will repeat itself and that eventually things will turn around once again. As an artist, it is particularly difficult right now because one of the first things that people want to do to alleviate financial strain is to spend less, and paintings are not exactly a "necessity". I am sure, however, that some passionate artists and collectors would heartily disagree. Thus I, like everyone, have to ride out the storm and continue to produce work, taking comfort that I will have a great group of paintings waiting to greet the sun and the gallery when this tempest has passed. 

  Hiking up Little Whistler Peak in Whistler, British Columbia

I have spoken with colleagues about the situation recently and all soberly advise me to "keep your head down, keep producing paintings and it will be ok". That is exactly what I shall continue to do. I have a solo show in less than a year so I have a large amount of work that I can do between now and November. I doubt that the recession will have passed by November 2009 but I simply cannot wait to show these paintings of Newfoundland.  That is why one keeps creating...out of spiritual necessity, emotional conviction and the desire to share your vision with the world. What more could a person want?

Being frugal out of necessity is tough. Being frugal out of choice is enjoyable. The gap between need and want has been growing over the years thanks among many things to successful marketing. However perhaps now, in the dimly lit room of our present economy, we can cherish the worn t-shirt rather than tossing it out, make more meals at home with our loved ones rather than splurging at a restaurant and perhaps refocus on what is most important: the things that money simply cannot buy.

"There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive."~Jack London

P.S. Bravo! Canada filmed a special profiling my work in 2007. It will be airing on Bravo! Channel all across Canada on Monday, February 9th at 8:30am Eastern Standard Time. I hope you are able to catch it! It is on at an odd time but thank goodness for PVRs.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Great post, Heather. I appreciate your insight and perspective.