Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Art & Fear part 2

Just finished the book Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. Great read for sure and I highly recommend picking up your own copy.  I doubt it will be a book you read and put back on your shelf never to be read again. I underlined way too many things to never find it useful again. It is weird to read a book and feel as if the writer is looking within you and saying exactly what is going on inside. I laughed out loud several times because I was reading about myself, about the exact things that go on inside me and it was describing my very actions. The writers got a lot of things right on, and I must say it was quit comforting to realize that  I am not the only one to have doubts and fears in my work. One of the main points of the book was attempting to answer the question as to why so many artists quit making art. It was scary to see some of the reasons stemming from fear yet it also turned the heat up for me to keep pressing on, to not give way to fear and work hard despite my cycles of drought.

Just a few quotes from the book.

"All that you do will inevitably be flavored with uncertainty- uncertainty about what you have to say, about whether the materials are right, about whether the pieces should be long or short, indeed about whether you'll ever be satisfied with anything you make." pg 19

"The truth is that the piece of art which seems so profoundly right in its finished state may earlier have been only inches or seconds away from total collapse." pg 19

"Artists get better by sharpening their skills or by acquiring new ones; they get better by learning to work. and by learning from their work. They commit themselves to the work of their heart, and act upon that commitment." pg 28

"If you think good work is somehow synonymous with perfect work, you are headed for big trouble." pg 29

"Most people stop making art when they stop being students." pg 85

"Simply put art that deals with ideas is more interesting then art that deals with technique." pg

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Art & Fear: part 1

      I recently heard about this book while I was at the OPA conference in Coer DeAlane. The title intrigued me as I often find the issue of fear creeping in myself when I'm beginning a new work or suffering in what I call my artist funk. I've also found myself talking to my students about their fears while trying to learn. Fear is an issue for all of us as human beings but it is apparent that it impacts us as artists far to powerfully and consistently in our creative journey. Fear gets in our way, keeping us stagnant and often even pulling us down. It keeps us from pressing forward and taking risks, experimenting, trying new things.  Fear lies to us, seducing us to be content in where we are, that its too risky to take that next step forward, that nothing good can come from it and in fact, certain failure is imminent. Fear, my arch enemy will not get the best of me. By the strength that comes from above I will have victory.

So I decided to order this book "Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils ( and Rewards) of Artmaking" by David Bayles.  I have only read through the introduction, it is not a long book but I don't think it is one of those books you can just speed through and check it off your list. A slow read with lots of underlining seems necessary. I am curious as to what the author has to say about faith, the opposite of fear, playing an important roll in the creative journey, we shall see. 

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Honorable mention from OPA Online Showcase

Honorable Mention
Award Sponsor: Oil Painters of America
Award Judge: Ken Spencer
A Polish Christmas
by Marci Oleszkiewicz
Oil 12 x 24
Summer 2011