Sunday, April 15, 2018

Keanu says, "Yes, do that."

I've always been a big Keanu fan. I liked him in Bill and Ted, (though I didn't really like the movies much). I liked Speed a LOT and Point Break has become a classic action cop movie. But I liked him as a person too. He seems... humble. Kind of down to earth. The stories of him giving away his salary to the technical workers on the sets of his movies are pretty impressive. He seems like a decent guy.(Hard to tell with Hollywood types, I know...but on just a gut-level...) Now he's started a company that makes custom motorcycles, which seems like a manly thing to do.

So, I'm willing to listen when, to the question, "Should I work on transitioning from writing to full time painting?" he says, "Yes, you really like painting."

A while back I emailed Daniel Mitsui, whose work I've been following for years. He's a man after my own heart, who loves sacred art, medieval manuscripts and botanical/biological art. His style is completely different from mine (and his "brand" is instantly recognisable and is appearing in more and more places around the innerwebz.) I asked him, "Is it possible to make a living doing this sort of "popularised" sacred art, full time?"

His quick answer was, "Yes, definitely."

His long answer, if you're interested in the details of how one does this, can be found on his website, here, here and here. But the gist was that it is certainly possible, mainly because of the nature of the kind of work we do (well, that he does and I aspire to do.)

The first step, of course, is to do the work.

I have a commission that I haven't even really started yet, a St. Anne and the Virgin. I'd like to do a test to see if I can complete an entire tile-painting in one week. That would make the price range sensible in terms of the ratio of hours put in to money earned, keeping the work affordable to the target market and at the same time make it worth doing in terms of time spent.

I've got a few models from the High Gothic I've picked out for the project. I've got the tile selected and prepped. But haven't started the work.

Why is painting so much more intimidating than writing? It's not like I don't know at least the basic techniques. I haven't really thought about it deeply, but there is an odd fear of making art. Someone wrote a helpful book about it. I'm glad at least to know I'm not the only one who experiences this.

Anyway, as with everything else that you think you ought to do but are scared to try, the only way to get past it is to actually do it. So, I'm going to try the 1-week experiment this week.



Anonymous said...

Good for you, Hilary. Best of luck with it!

Anonymous said...

I would imagine it's a lot harder to "edit" art than writing. If so, that would account for the fear, I would think.

Louise L

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

I guess. But I've been writing and blogging so long, it just feels like talking. Like something I mostly do without thinking or trying, and that comes pretty naturally now. Painting requires effort, concentration. But there's also a kind of mystique about it. A blog post is read in half a minute, and people move on. It's just not very important, in the larger scheme of things. No one is ever going to worry, when our stupid civilisation finally does the big collapse, about the blog posts. "Oh NO! We're going to lose all those memes!"

But governments include plans to save art in their apocalypse protocols. The French government, for example, has a plan to rescue and put the contents of the Louvre in a nuke-proof bunker in case of emergency. Art is Real. Blogging is ... not.

Matt said...

I've debated trying my hand at becoming a professional composer of sacred music perpetuating the style of the Renaissance seeking patrons (I currently do so for my own devotion and for small items for my parish). This was helpful to read. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Sometime, when you finish your present painting (with
more to come), could you please
make a list of the prayers you chant?

To respond to this post, blogging may not last but for the
moment what you do is VERY IMPORTANT. There are about
three or four (sometimes more but 3 or 4 core) voices I listen
to and share and yours is one of them. I often wonder where
I would be if I didn't have these voices available. Halfway to
hell, maybe.

God bless,

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

My daily vocal prayer is very simple, on the advice of St. Philip Neri to get a routine and stick to it. (The sticking to it is the hard part.)

Three Aves in the morning while still waking up. While sitting on the edge of the bed collecting myself, a "morning offering" - that is often not really verbatim, but more general. This is the moment when I usually gather up my intentions for the day too. A long time ago someone told me to have the first words of the day addressed to God. That seemed like good advice. Even if it's not very coherent, I usually at least manage "O God come to my assistance; O Lord make haste to help me."

About ten minutes of Dom Delatte's commentary on the Rule + some Thoughts, usually over my morning coffee. I guess this qualifies as Lectio.

Angelus/Regina Caeli at noon. (Regina Caeli sung on the simple tone in Latin, because that's how I learned it, and the Angelus recited in English.) This is easy to remember to do because I live surrounded by churches who ring the hours.

Full Vespers in Latin at about 5:30. I play the recording of the Le Barroux monks and sing along in my book. Sometimes I leave it til later if the monks haven't posted their thing yet for the day or if it's a feast day. But the main oblate obligation is Vespers (for the moment.)

A few minutes summarising the day while sitting on the edge of the bed, sometimes with Compline for help organising my thoughts.

3 Aves before falling asleep.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Hilary. How did the experiment go? I hope
you are pleased with the outcome.