I love it when someone – especially a woodworker – transcends the confines of his craft and reaches for fine art. It really makes the heart glad.
So… I’ve hit 5000 posts on Muck and Nettles. It took seven years, a whole schwack of electricity and buckets of black tea.
I don’t really think of it as an accomplishment or an event worth celebrating. It’s more like a thing in the same category as not trimming my toenails or letting my hair grow, neither of which I would ever do, but it sure seems to have happened with my web presence.
Back in the dark ages, I used to think I was a neophile, a person with a “strong affinity for novelty”. But that can’t be the whole story. I don’t care about new for new’s sake. I’m far too much of a snob for that. Buddy, you gotta be this high to get on this ride.
I can tell you how many bad artists there are out there. Gazillions. Some are bad because they’ve just started to make art. Some are stuck in the rut of a particular trend (like big-eyed anime or scribbling over the face of an otherwise nice commonplace portrait). Some have no taste – so even when they attain technical greatness, their work will be completely forgettable. I see maybe ten or thirty of these every day. Some days, it seems like all I see and it takes a long time to find something awesome to post.
Then there are the great artists and photographers and musicians. Some days, I feel like the world is full of extraordinary talent and rejoice that so many have found their unique voice. And it’s tough to wrap my brain around the fact that there are so many of them. I guess it has always been this way, that a certain percentage of the population has awesome taste, talent and skill. The fact that we now have so many great artists is down to our having seven billion souls on the planet.
Still, to a jaded art lover like myself, there are only a handful of contemporary painters and musicians that can really knock my socks off. I keep thinking, after 5000 posts, I have found them all already. But next week, I guarantee you, I will sit down in the afternoon with my cup of tea, open my browser and come upon a painting or a photograph or a song that makes me think, I have not lived until now. Now, paint makes sense. Now, the invention of the camera is justified. Now, the voice of humankind is cleared of phlegm and we can finally hear it in all its glory. And I can’t wait.