Tuesday, June 12, 2012


About a month ago I received a totally unexpected invitation to an art group on facebook.  I was surprised and pleased with the invitation.

About a week ago one of the members submitted a video on John Baldessari, an artist with whom I was marginally familiar.  In one brief segment of the video he is seen (or someone’s hand is seen) writing repeatedly – like a schoolboy doing a disciplinary task – I will not make boring art.  Over and over again – I will not make boring art.  That phrase reached in and grabbed hold of me, firmly, and would not let go.

As a self-taught artist with limited skills my self- confidence always teeters on the brink, and Baldessari’s admonition to himself nearly pushed me over.  Coming at a time when I was seriously questioning my work, all I could think about was the question, is my art boring?  Have I fallen into a comfortable and familiar place, where there is little impetus to push the boundaries of my work?  Are my paintings old and tired?

After several days of wrestling with this self-doubt I found the answers to be quite simple…yes, and no.  Yes, some of my work is tired and boring, but no, some of it is inspired and interesting.  Sometimes I push the boundaries and sometimes I fall back into my comfort zone.  I don’t think it is possible to work any other way, and the critical point is to recognize when the work is boring, and when it is not.  The goal, of course, is to spend more time in the not boring mode.

I am in the process of creating a series of paintings for an exhibition later this year and this recent “encounter” has suddenly infused the task with some excitement and anticipation…the work will definitely not be boring.

 Summer trees...acrylic...12x48
Autumn trees...acrylic...12x48

What is boring art?  I’ll try to give my answer to that question in my next post.


SjHopper said...

DON'T STOP CREATING ART! I love your work Bill and I know a lot of other people do as well. I will own one of your pieces some day.


William F. Renzulli said...

Thanks Sue.