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Lesson Plans


artist's block

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mark Alexander (Alexander)mamjam)
Tue, 25 Jun 1996 11:08:23 -0500


The 'artist's block' is an issue being discussed here that I frequently
confront as a practicing artist. My favorite solution, personally, is just
to clean out the studio. Something interesting always seems to turn up.
However, there have been numerous great suggestions posted here recently,
and I have one to add:

THE ARTIST'S WAY: A SPIRITUAL PATH TO HIGHER CREATIVITY, by Julia Cameron,
Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1992, $13.95 US.
http//www.putnam.com/putnam . It sets out A COURSE IN DISCOVERING AND
RECOVERING YOUR CREATIVE SELF. It's a 12 week program. I have artist
friends who have gone through the weekly format as a group with great
success, culmunating the course with a wonderful group show. Personally,
I've found the book to be more helpful by just reading and contemplating
selected passages.

Someone posted a query on ArtsEdNet last spring, looking for artist's
quotes. Every page of THE ARTIST'S WAY has at least one and usually more
inspirational quotes about the creative process, written by artists of all
types: writers, poets, actors, painters, musicians, and philosophers.

But I would also like to ask a question all this talk about the 'artist's
block' seems to lead to. A while back there was discussion whether or not
students are artists. If we consider them artists then shouldn't we make
more room for the artistic process and its own elusive time frames? As
artists, many of us seem to experience this block from time to time, yet as
art teachers we demand on-task, productive and creative work from our
students on demand. I remember as a student in high school, and then in art
school, and then as a practising artist, how frustrating it is to be
ordered to perform on demand. I admit that on occasion it was 'deadline
pressure' alone that spoke to my artistic spirit. This, I think, becomes
student work, or commission work...which I think sometimes should be
separated from artistic work. Now I find I'm the one doing the demanding.
Can any of you help me remedy or rationalize this seemingly hypocritical
stand?

Mark Alexander
Lakeville, CT

On 6/25/96 Brian Foster wrote:
>
.......I have found that my artistic inspiration
>usually visits me at inopportune times and scurries into a dark corner when
>ordered to perform on demand, .....