In the first of our mini episodes, we talk about the benefits of making our work space hospitable, continuing a daily practice, and how art brings us both hope and sanity.
Check out this book:
Art is the Highest Form of Hope, Phaidon Editors
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Hey there. I’m Tricia Rose Burt and welcome to our first No Time to Be Timid mini episode, which we’re going to offer every other week between now and Season Three. If you’re a regular listener, you know, I held a creative retreat last weekend for several women here in New Hampshire, and part of that retreat was bringing them to my studio and spending the afternoon making art, working with different materials and mediums. Before I could entertain guests in my studio, I had to clean it, which I’m pretty sure I hadn’t done since the last time I held a retreat. Remember Marion Roach Smith in episode nine saying You need to be hospitable to yourself in your work? I was anything but. I’m blessed with a decent sized studio. It’s one of the perks that comes from living in the New Hampshire woods. One side of my studio is dedicated to writing and podcasting, and the other side is dedicated to visual artmaking. I started cleaning the writing side first because it was just unsightly and I began sorting through these huge piles on my desk — notes from conversations I’d had with other artists, takeaways from webinars and workshops, answers to questions I’ve been asking, which were sitting right in front of me, buried under old to-do lists. All these ideas and this energy were sitting on my desk just waiting to be activated. The art making side was in a little better shape. I wasn’t doing so much cleaning as I was taking inventory of what I had to work with — paper, pencils, markers. As I organized my materials, I could feel myself calming, and before I knew it, I was messing around with a giant hole puncher and some old drawings. I kept asking myself, Why aren’t I spending more time on this side of the studio? All those issues that lurk outside the door have less of a grip on me when I’m making something, making anything. In the middle of all my cleaning and organizing, I found a book of quotes by artists called Art is the Highest Form of Hope. The title is a quotation from Gerhard Richter, a contemporary German artist with a career spanning more than six decades. And to me, he’s right. As the book says, art spans time and cultures, lifts us up, and brings us together. It’s why I host my podcast and hold retreats — to elevate art and the people who make it. And when it feels like the world is on fire because it is, we need art, and the hope it brings more than ever. And for me, there’s a more personal and everyday reason to make art. As the American painter Dorothea Tanning said, art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I need some sanity right now, so I’m going to try to maintain a friendly and welcoming desk, so I’ve got a straight shot to write new stories, and I’m going to reinstitute my daily art practice, even if it’s just 10 minutes. If you’re not already doing these things, I hope you’ll join me because remember, this is no time to be timid.
If you want to jumpstart your creative courage, go back and listen to Seasons one and two of the podcast. Learn more about No Time to Be timid at my website triciaroseburt.com and make sure to follow me on social media @triciaroseburt. No Time to Be Timid is sponsored by Interbang Books, a Dallas-based independent bookstore, which was named one of the top five bookstores in the country. They have a fabulous, curated online collection. Check them out at Interabangbooks.com. That’s interabangbooks.com. No Time to Be Timid is written and produced by me, Tricia Rose Burt. Our episodes are produced and scored by Adam Arnone of Echo Finch, and our theme music is Twists and Turns by the Paul Dunlea Group. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to the show, spread the word and review us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen. No Time to be Timid is a presentation of I Will Be Good Productions.