Further thinking on this topic leads me to reconsider artists working within specific means. And the one that leaps most nimbly into the forefront of my agile mind is my old friend Natalie de Roquet.
Trapped in a suite of rooms, lonely and paperless, this enterprising woman scrawled on her bedroom and bathroom walls a story of superior grace and power. In doing so she created something much more fascinating than what might have appeared had she a sheaf of two of your finest paper. The challenge set by her peculiar circumstances prised opened her mind like a oyster – and what delights, oh what delights, slipped out!
How could one – or, more accurately, could one – replicate de Roquet? One cannot, must not, should not attempt to imitate her circumstances in order to approach her art. Which is to say: please do not lock a woman in a room in the hope of her creating a similar masterpiece. Aside from the fact that the act would be illegal, we must rememeber that De Roquet was a rare bird: the circumstances helped her art, but she was also best placed to take advantage of them. Put most of us in the same position and we’d be hard pressed to come up with anything half as good.
For more on de Roquet, see here. For more on artists and their means, join us later.