As we retooled the Weekly Drawing Project during our ( me, Shirle Bedient, Ronnie Offen) annual week on Amelia Island, we added a labelling component, and also came up with a list of “challenges” as a way of further expanding our explorations. At this point, there are 19 challenges on the list, and we are each to tackle any 12 of them at any time during the coming year.
1. Draw on found paper
2. Drawing of found object(s)
4. Continuous line.
6. Conveying a message
7. Something you don’t want to draw
8. 20 minute drawing
11. Nerd’s eye view
12. Bird’s eye view.
14. Drawing with natural materials
15. Outside In.
16. Design a wine bottle label
17. In today’s paper.
19. Stolen From ___________________
This is my current favorite quote….absolutely right on. I have it mounted on my drawing table, and read through it every day before I begin working.
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anyone who will listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
“I don’t go to the studio with the idea of “saying” something.
What I do is face the blank canvas and put a few marks on it
that start me on some sort of dialogue.”
This past week-end I taught a 2-day workshop about my process of making (building) acrylic/collage paintings. As my process is to work layer upon layer, which, of course requires drying (and thinking) time, it doesn’t work to demonstrate making a painting straight through, start to finish. It was necessary to both bring a variety of starts and demonstrate starts, second steps, third steps, etc. etc.
So now I have 34 new small (12″X12″ and 11″X14″) paintings going, all in various stages of completion. I could hardly wait to get my workshop tubs unloaded so I could start painting.
I have added a new collection of pages entitled Making Better Art, where I am beginning to assemble my vast accumulation of random thoughts on the topic into some sort of coherent order.
“The arts especially address the idea of aesthetic experience. An aesthetic experience is one in which your senses are operating at their peak; when you’re present in the current moment; when you’re resonating with the excitement of this thing that you’re experiencing; when you are fully alive.”
― Ken Robinson
“Never be so focussed on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.”
Ann Patchett, as her character Dr. Annick Swenson in STATE OF WONDER. The character is actually referring to scientific research with this statement, but the idea is 100% applicable to making art, not only those who do intuitive/experimental art, but to all artists.