Temporal Beauty

Beware the Ides of March

I was looking for a quote that would be perfect for my feelings about the temporal nature of just about anything and realized that today was March 15th, what Shakespearean soothsayers tell Caesar is the Ides of March, the fateful day when Caesar would be assassinated and Rome would be changed forever. While I am not exactly sure I would deem Caesar’s reign a thing of beauty, my contemplation on the temporal nature of things on the very day of Caesar’s life being terminated made sense to me for a fleeting moment.

I digress a bit from my actual point though. Today, I was thinking about the temporary existence of my artwork as I have chosen to draw on napkins. Napkins are meant to be used and disposed, a temporary adornment to one’s place setting at a table. If I take a picture of it and post it online, somewhere in the world of the internet, it will exist forever but the actual thing will eventually be tossed aside.

So, what was the point of creating something if not to keep it forever? Here’s today’s napkin doodle, by the way…

Frazzled Flower 007                 Frazzled Flower 003

These reflections on the temporal nature of things was due to my decision to register as a local artist through a non-profit organization called SONYA, which stands for South of the Navy Yard Artists. I stared at the request for an Artist’s Mission statement for a while as I struggled to commit to one particular focal point in creating my artwork. It’s a common request among most galleries and art institutions to produce an artist’s statement. I could not help but feel like it would be limiting my creative potential to start labeling my work but I understand the importance of branding your art for marketing purposes. Then I realized, I have been creating a lot of my ideas on napkins and it made me think I should be creating more on canvas.

One of my high school English teachers told me that I should stop should-ing on myself. There’s really no need to justify where you create your art, I realized. It’s more important that you just keep making it and getting it out of your system.

I came to realize that there is beauty in the temporal nature of things. Would Romeo and Juliet be as beloved if they survived their tragic end? Sunsets and sunrises are a fleeting thing of beauty. Perhaps other artists have come to this realization as well as they have begun creating temporal art in places like The Burning Man festival. Burning Man is an event that takes place in the Nevada desert. People create art and a community and then all of it is gone within a week. It’s on my bucket list to go to this event.

So, I am determined to keep my camera handy and will continue to take photos of my temporary napkin art, if only to entertain or inspire others to create wherever they are. Enjoy!

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