It strikes me as no accident that I am re-watching a particular film lately. It’s a documentary about the musicians who collaborated on “Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes.” Each worked on composing his or her own music for early Bob Dylan lyrics. All added their ideas, voices and instruments to the songs composed by others. Pressure was high. The lyrics were written by a legend, and they had only a week to produce a finished album.
What fascinates—and reassures—me is their honesty in confronting their fears about the music they were creating. Watching the film, I commiserate with their stops and starts, and their anxieties, large and small. I celebrate their breakthroughs and their joy when they connect to one another through the music.
As I move in a new direction with my own art—toward the bolder and “edgier”—I am nervous about the art I am pulled to make at this particular time. It’s scary, but a good scary. I am not sure I can pull it off, but must try.
Ian Roberts in his fine book, Creative Authenticity, says this: “The wonderful and terrifying truth is that expression of your authentic voice takes courage—courage to face the fear of failure, ridicule and incompetence.”
I take comfort in this, and in the work of other artists who bare their souls, hope for the best, and move forward once again into unknown territory.
(16″ x 12″, Oil, cold wax, pastels on wood panel)