The creative types who get hung up on the false idea of originality and the notions that their work has no influences or ties to anything else should take notice of this quote.
we don't exist in a vacuum, or a state of arrested development, especially when it comes to our tastes and influences. I read somewhere that your taste buds or palette changes every seven years, I'm not sure if the science behind that is still true but the psychology of the thought remains valid.
As I struggle through graduate school I see a very new type of taste emerging, my work develops but I think more importantly my palettes grows in sensitivity. I reach for moments in paintings that I had previously passed over. I savor things in art now rather than just consuming, and this begins the real introspective into painting, paying attention to the whole rather than the "main course."
Lizzy House once showed me a video of Ira Glass (This American Life, as opposed to the other Ira Glass's you know) in which he talks about taste. A video is linked below, which I highly recommend you take the time to watch and listen.
SECRETS ABOUT THE GAP!
It exists....and it is manageable, but only with the right mindset. I lose myself a lot in the gap. I'm not sure how to create what is truly me, but I know what is great, and what is inspiring. The gap keeps me up at night and reminds me of the distance between who I am and what I aim to be. The gap is there and it is only that, a gap, not an unfathomable chasm, or bottomless pit, its a gap, one that starts to close the moment you start working. I think my gap is larger than most, but only because I am aiming very high, and maybe sometimes the gap is not singular, but a series of incremental hurdles our hero has to cross.
I think it might be the later.
The gap also tends to be an optical illusion. Like Indiana Jones, when you take that leap of faith into the gap, you would be surprised how often you are rewarded with a foothold. Every time I step into the gap, I realize that its not a wide, or as deep, or as scary as I previously thought it was or would be.
Image by Maggie Hubbard
One of my Gaps
The figure has always been the greatest source of interest to me, inasmuch the rest of the painting becomes something I have to muscle through in order to get to the next figure. As I pour over the works of contemporary figure painters I have begun to notice the ingredients I've been neglecting, the space, the air between model and artist, the texture of the paint, I have made a roast but forgot the root vegetables!
I don't believe I'm alone in thinking that the next great recipe will consist of some new novel ingredient, but what I am actually discovering is that it is rather a new combination of generic ingredients, or rather the right proportion of well know elements, that will create my ideal. Which of course is not a new idea, but an idea that nonetheless requires the artist to seemingly stumble upon it at some point, and claim originality.