Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Work of An Artist

I (don't) follow one of my colleague's blog- I check in now and then- to see what is being promoted. And that is the story- promotion. It is depressing. The latest share comes from interviewing a well known "icon" in the art world. From it we get the following suggested path to being a famous (not good, mind you) artist, the five or so rules can be distilled to this- be a personality (being John Malkovich) and promote, promote, promote it. Not a discussion about the work, but about the maker.

I find the self serving, constant use of "I" and "me" in each and every context an affront on the very core of being an artist. Sure, we as artists are by nature egoist in mentality. But it is the work, the audience, and the maker that are at the core of good works, not the maker alone. Or to describe it visually- picture a triangle (isosceles, please) containing a circle that tangentially meets all sides, a yantra of a sort.

The vortices of the triangle represent the maker, the object, and the viewer independently. The circle represents works that attempt to reflect what art should do- engage and enlighten. Works that lie outside of the circle and at the vortex of any two sides fail. They are either about self (get analysis), or pandering (full of insecurities), or tchotchkes (possible virtuosity aside).

Of course our media sources love the attraction of a "character" and the art world has had it's share. And this is the Commercial Design area I am talking about. But really, so much energy spent on what seems to be so little ground breaking: the self is the work; the work needs promotion; the promotion becomes the work. Seems like the wrong circle to be drawing...

2 (and a half) very good triangles

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Val Cushing

As, I am sure,  so many others are writing this evening, we are saddened by the news of Val Cushing's passing yesterday. We have lost many of the great ones over the last few years. He most surely was one of the absolute best is so many ways...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Haleck's Ravine

I just started an new site. Need to get my political "joneses(?)" out of of my system.  Check it out...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Last Season is the First

porcelain bowl
porcelain bowl
Those of us in the academic world live in a different annual cycle. Fall is the beginning of the new year, not the old one winding down.  As beautiful as this season is, the natural world is letting go for the winter rest, while students are at the beginning of, and maybe innocently ignorant of, the profound affects a new year of study will have on them.

It is exciting for artists as well. Though most of us don't leave the studio entirely in the summer, the time to work on the house, the yard, leisure time for biking in the country or being on the water, gives us some distance. The fall season refreshes the senses and clears the rows for pushing ideas and planning the year.

Good to be back.

In remembrance:  My family has close friends whose loved ones perished on this day, nine years ago. There are no words, there are no ideologies that can justify, indict or alter the acts nor salve the pain left in the dusty wake of the heinous, criminal deeds that day. We must all be one....
new work to be salt fired

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New season, semester and transitions

The nest isn't quite empty in the way our front porch robins managed it along (twice!) this summer, but the transition from being mom and dad of a high schooler to that of a college coed is more difficult than I ever imagined.  I know many are in the same boat.  It is an emotional ride-  a "tour de France" in the art of parenting.  We'll all make it, I know...

The hip is back as good as it could be. No ill effects. My concerns about working in the studio are just a memory. As with an earlier surgery, I am impressed with the skill and craftsmanship these surgeons possess.

After a summer of production (I must be getting older- the hot studio doesn't bother me as before) and relaxation (a beautiful week on the Cape), I hope to get the salt kiln arch redone so I begin to fire the work made. The recent porcelain work is in need of a good salting. I have a good inventory of bisque; the wood kiln is ready to go. I hope find the time to develop some new glazes and tweak the ash glazes in the studio. Except for the tuition bills,  I am excited about the coming year.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hip Joint Redo

Am in the fifth week of PT for hip replacement surgery.  Regis beat me out for the press coverage.  

Am looking forward to returning to the studio and classroom next week, hopefully.  Have been thinking of what changes will be needed in order to do my work.  Earlier in rehab I thought there would be quite a few things that would be different.  I now think the most difficult aspect will be the stairs.  I knew that taking a second floor studio would someday be a problem.  But one doesn't turn down the offer of a studio on campus.  Should be manageable.  Thank goodness for work-study students!  We (my assistant and Vincent C) are planning a wood firing for sometime right after the NCECA conference.  Just us.  Something to look forward to.  

Thanks to all for the good wishes and goodies...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Images of Work (Gernhardt/Jessiman)

These are some current examples of work by the artists I mentioned in the last post.  More can be found at their web sites and blogs.

Henry can be found at Cedar Key Pottery; John at Cub Creek Foundation.

Happy New Year to all!