I continue to be challenged by the desire to pursue all my interests in
the arts with equal dedication. In the listening to and performance of
music I am closest to the Creation. The designing and woodwork of furniture
making gives me purpose, the knowledge that I am creating something useful.
Painting brings me closest to the veneration of beauty and a contemplative
inner peace. And in instrument making, lutherie, I have the delightful
mingling of all these experiences. It is a living art. An instrument of
music is not merely attractive or instructive as a painting, or useful
as a piece of furniture, but alive. It takes a person, a personality,
to breathe life into and brings joy to both player and listener alike.
So I speak of my furniture in terms of its origin in history, but knowing
as an artist I have the license to create new forms. There is the awareness
that my furniture, likewise with my instruments, if they are built well,
and fair with the fortunes of time, may outlive me a great number of years.
Conversely, so much of my painting is for myself. It's how I relate to
what is important in my world. What fascinate me are the people in my
life and the landscape in which we all exist. Architecture holds the allure
of history and the story of mankind which can be found in the dwellings
we make for ourselves and how we adorn them. There is the excitement of
seeing the structure rise from the drawings you created, which previously
existed only in your mind.
In the past four years, since I last sat down to reflect on my work as
an artist, I have come again to Architecture as the most effective outlet
for my creativity. A career in Lutherie is elusive and I find that I have
several more lessons to learn before I undertake that craft as profession.
Building is the passion. Whether it is a house or a lute, my excitement
over the work is in conceptualizing a thing of beauty and of usefulness
and then making it a reality, with the skill of my own hands and the knowledge
that years of diligent study and persistent questioning have brought.
With these creative outlets I am participating in the centuries of craftsmen
who revel in the creative process and desire to reflect back to our neighbors
the best qualities of living. It is our "greatest joy meeting the
world's greatest need."
Through these creative pathways I experience the world and give back to
it. I see something of interest in every place I visit and every person
I meet. These experiences continue to shape my ideas about the art of
creation and my role as an artist.
Daniel J Betsill
BFA, Interior Design, University of Georgia, Athens, 1995
Bring it HOME.