I did a lot of thinking during my hiatus, about life and art and the state of our world (and particularly economy.) It seems that for most people/collectors, art is one of those things that seems necessary until funds get squeezed ... and then it becomes a major luxury. I was pondering that and the fact that I truly believe that my artwork is a gift from God. I really want my artwork to be a reflection of the fact that He has put something unique and valuable within me... whether a skill, or the ability to see beauty and capture it, or the ability to weave words together in a pleasing way. I want it to please Him and also please those who are viewing it. Can I have both? I think that is truly a dilemma for me.
I have meditated and wondered "Why now?" ...Why in my early 40s have I had the opportunity ... (and dare I say it... affirmation) to return to doing the artwork after basically neglecting that gift for a number of years? And if I am truly an artist, would I have allowed that gift to lie fallow for those years? In this current economy, can I afford to take the chance on the instability of income that this type of thing brings with it? Will people still be buying artwork with all that is going on... (after all, it isn't necessary to sustain life)? How do I price a piece that my heart and soul goes into? (Despite the state of the economy, I can't give it away... I must use my time and resources wisely.) Why would anyone want to buy something I have done... (there are so many much more talented artists out there)? Is it wiser for me to try to look for a "stable" job or to follow the confirmation of my family, friends, and even strangers who are telling me that my artwork is valuable? (It seems that every time I consider just going out and finding a job, He sends some sort of encouragement about the artwork my way... sometimes in the form of a commissioned piece, or in the form of an e-mail about my work, or a phone call from a friend, etc.)
I suppose in sharing all this, I am really asking for your prayers. Along with so many in our current economy, these are very serious issues with which I am wrestling. I admire and appreciate so many of you, and I would be honored if you have any words of wisdom or if you would simply pray that I would hear clearly from the Lord about this. For now, I will continue to do as much artwork as I can while keeping balance in my life. But for the long run I want to do what is best for my family, and above all what He would have me do. Thanks for letting me ramble.