That got me to thinking… What is a “masterpiece?” Have I ever created one?
I’m thinking a masterpiece is something that exemplifies the best of an artist’s work. A piece which reaches the height of communicating an artist’s vision. A piece that finds the perfect combination of subject, emotion and technique. Something that says, “This is who the artist is, or was, as an artist and as a person.”
If that’s the case, then can I really know if I’ve ever created a masterpiece? Or is that something for people to decide after I’m gone?
I don’t ever set out to create a masterpiece, that’s all I know right now. Can you imagine that kind of pressure? “Today, I’m going to create the best work of my career!” Let’s talk about a recipe for creative block.
I just try to keep creating. Sometimes what I finish is good. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I know right away if it’s my best work, but more often it’s hindsight that helps me see which pieces are better than others. I can’t predict, in the throes of creating.
Which is good, I suppose, because otherwise I would get to the point of “knowing” that a piece was destined for the trash bin and just stop. What’s the point of creating something, if you know it’s not going anywhere? It’s better to not know at all.
That’s why we can’t tell if we’ve created a masterpiece. That’s why others decide that. We have to keep creating, without the voice in our head telling us, what’s good or not.
Have I ever created a masterpiece? Will I ever create one? I’m not worrying about that. I’m just taking life as an artist one day, one piece at a time.
PS – Twelve days to Philomath Open Studios! Mark your calendars for Oct 25/26 and Nov 1/2.