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A thought on Art

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  • A thought on Art

    I heard a fabulous 1/2 Hr. radio documentary on Wed. afternoon, it was a very intimate conversation with an elderly Maine Artist, Dahlov Ipcar. I had not heard of her, but I am now completely infatuated. She is inspired and yet SO down to earth in the 'Maine'ah' way; Independant, crusty, passionate... She spoke of how it is difficult to not be inspired when you are surrounded by beauty... she said at times when her family moved here they had no running water, no electricity, but they didn't care. It was worth it to be in the midst of Nature's splendor.

    Dahlov Ipcar's art hangs in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

    I cannot directly quote, since I cannot find a transcript or even the audio copy (I've sent for info) but this thought really struck me.

    She was particularly speaking at this point to young aspiring artists. She said, 'Lots of people want to live the LIFE of an Artist, but few have the passion to really do the WORK of Art.'

    This really struck a chord with me, and I thought you could so easily transpose Rider, or Horseman for Artist

    Just a thought for a dark and snowy winter's night.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

  • #2
    Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post

    She was particularly speaking at this point to young aspiring artists. She said, 'Lots of people want to live the LIFE of an Artist, but few have the passion to really do the WORK of Art.'

    This really struck a chord with me, and I thought you could so easily transpose Rider, or Horseman for Artist

    Just a thought for a dark and snowy winter's night.
    Thanks so much for this, and for exposing me to her work.

    I wholeheartedly agree with what she said. So many times I have been asked if I have to wait to be "inspired" to paint. If I did that, I'd never paint. It's work, like anything else. Frustrating and (occasionally) satisfying. I don't consider that I have talent either (as in "you're so talented!"). I have become a better painter from hours at the easel and some very good instruction. Just like riding. And it's never good enough.

    Going back to read more about her...

    Waiting for the snowy night here in the Bluegrass!
    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


    • #3
      Very thought provoking.

      I would have to agree that without putting the work into art (dressage, or riding for that matter) you cannot have the solid foundation in order to be "talented".

      An outsider sees the talent, yet it is a true horseperson who sees the work thats gone into getting there.


      • #4
        She said, 'Lots of people want to live the LIFE of an Artist,
        Not sure what "liv[ing] the life of an Artist" is?


        • #5
          Drinking lots of expensive coffee, not working in an office, spending a lot of time expostulating and making art?

          Art is a lot of work, technique, practice, before it is art.


          • #6
            This is true of science, as well! not just horsemanship.

            But she is so right. If I didn't do things like soak the hoof abcess, scritch the itch, take out the irritating burrs from the tail, remove the ticks, ride honestly and with patience, how could I gain the trust that is so critical to the partnership?

            Most of the time, it can take two years from initiating the experiments to publishing the manuscript...no immediate gratification there, either!

            When I was in jr high and high school, I went to Saturday classes at the Art Students' League in NYC. Very sobering - the other students were so committed to their art - they lived it, they sacrificed for it, they couldn't live any other way, even though most of them were living right on the financial edge. And at 16, I asked whether I could be that committed to my art, and the answer was a painfully honest, "No."

            I think for those of us who are truly committed - not necessarily to the showing, but to the practice of horsemanship (since it is not discipline dependent) - it is the same. Of course there are sacrifices, but in so many ways, you don't consider it as such.
            a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


            • Original Poster

              I have to say I'm a little sad more folks don't want to discuss dressage as Art.

              Geek, you said it well. I don't consider it sacrifice at all, I consider it a CHOICE. I don't go to movies or rent them, I don't eat out, I don't order out... I've got the cheapest internet plan I can (coz I can't live without THAT ) and no TV, no cable/sattelite/etc. And I don't consider it sacrifice, it's the CHOICE I make to live on a farm with horses... and to do dressage.

              I ADORE the aforementioned artist's Indian Ponies painting. Only $16k.

              I LOVE the idea of living the life of a dressage rider. Pretty vests, danskos, perhaps some wine (unfortunately I only like cheap, sweet wine! )... Instead I find myself in hand-me-down layers of sweats and mismatched layers... covered with oil, poop and slobber stains...

              And I am blissfully, blissfully happy.

              I remember going to a clinic with my teacher the Saturday after September 11. I felt like I shouldn't. Somehow, I felt it was Wrong to spend the money on something as frivolous as dressage... I listened all the way down to AMAZING stories on NPR of faith, rescue, loss, death... And I came to know that sometimes when life is at its most chaotic and absurd, THAT is when we NEED ART the MOST. Our souls need to be fed.

              I found myself there again when my Mum had surgery for lung cancer. I was hard pressed to explain the choices I made to spend money on a clinic. But Mum wanted me to go. She said "Especially now, you NEED to go. Your heart and your soul need it."

              But the other part of Ms. Ipcar's quote was about the passon to do the WORK of Art. It is *lovely* to sit in the afternoon sun slanting through the cathedral like windows at my teacher's, and *watch* him school... It is something else altogether to bring a horse up the levels. Sometimes I am not sure I am up to it. I used to think that the better you got as a trainer, the higher level you rode and trained, the 'easier' it would be. I was SO WRONG. And sometimes I don't think I'm dedicated enough. It hurts. It's hard. It's frustrating for so few moments of reward. I don't think I'm DRIVEN enough for FEI. Certainly not for FEI competition!

              BUT... all it takes is a reminder of the dance, the beauty, the incredible paradox of power and submission... and I'm driven *enough* to want to get there. It might take a LOT longer than what it "should." It might not be competition grade. But if it is my horse and myself partnering in the most intimate way, to dance... THAT I hope I always have the passion and inspiration for.
              InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

              Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


              • #8
                YES, it is as pinto said, "the incredible paradox of power and submission". There are all those words we use to describe dressage-- "partnership" "harmony"--but like music and the visual art media, words, scores and economic rewards can only begin to approach the story, the singularly personal meaning for the rider.

                That paradox, therein lies the beauty. Power/submission, skill/feeling, confidence/anxiety, cognitive/spiritual.

                The balance can never be perfectly quantified. It is the struggle that is beautiful.

                Thank goodness.
                Last edited by stecia; Jan. 29, 2010, 08:52 PM. Reason: to make it more understandable
                Balance is the perfect state of still water (Confucius)


                • #9
                  i love discussing dressage as art - just not on COTH


                  • #10
                    Given your love of this conceptual issue, MBM, I apologize for wasting your bandwidth. Please advise as to the appropriate forum (not where to go, lol). thanks!!
                    Balance is the perfect state of still water (Confucius)


                    • #11
                      stecia - i was commenting on why folks might not be responding.....

                      COTH is not very friendly to artsy fartsie classical stuff. usually it gets ripped a new one - or used for fodder in some future battle - so that might be why the thread wont have much activity.

                      There are other forums where art/dressage are discussed. The classical dressage forum is one. UDBB might be another.