These words, a Latin translation of the original Greek, are attributed to Hippocrates. In English: “Art is long, life is short.”
Perhaps one of the reasons it took me so long to develop a web presence can be attributed to the second portion of that statement. Life is short. Do I really want to spend my precious time—time that could be spent in the studio or on a wooded path, time that could be used to devour a book or mess about in the kitchen—on figuring out how to present my art and myself (which is essentially “my-art-myself” as a compound word) on the internet? Um, no, not really.
In fact, no, emphatically.
At least that’s what I told myself. The more complicated answer, however, has a lot to do with my cultivated sense of privacy. As an introvert, the last thing I want to do is put myself-my-art on a giant digital billboard, exposed. But here’s the thing: I do want my art to be “long”—to exist outside the boundaries of my mortal life. Whether in tangible form, as a work on a wall or in a library collection, or as a sensation, experienced by a viewer when she feels transported by the colors and the forms, my art (I hope) can have a life beyond my own.
So, here we are, my-art-myself, on display.
But…if art is long and life is short, I’d best get back to making the former. It gives the latter shape, and meaning.