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Lesson Plans

Re: Artist's Block

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mark Alexander (Alexander)mamjam)
Wed, 26 Jun 1996 00:06:56 -0500

I always enjoy posting queries and I eagerly check for responses. All of
your input has been so enriching. I can only dream of being as eloquent as
some of you are! Sure would be neat to see Craig Roland's T-shirt!

On 25 June Eileen Prince wrote that:

>artists' works are not
>always "successful" and many pieces may need to be produced before one
>exhibits the quality the artist is seeking. It is preferable to be working
>even if the effort is not totally successful - perhaps the process will lead
>to another idea which is better.

So true! Ideas generate more ideas. I find that the artistic process
often builds, like layers of glazes, until something with a wonderful
patina is created. These layers can't happen without disciplined work
habits. Each of Robert Frost's 99 so-so poems was an integrel part of the
foundation upon which the great 100th poem was built. Thank you, Eileen,
because this is the kind of rational I can use when I discuss my need for
the students to meet deadlines with the sometimes conflicting timing of an
artist's inspiration.

On 25 June Judy Grochowski wrote, quoting Julia Cameron:

>"You can't kill creativity, you can cement it over,
>>but it comes through the cracks like crabgrass" (or words to that

In art school they told us, "You must do your art work every day, even if
it hurts!" There is wisdom there, but the guilt trip for me (I do have a
life) became too much, and it took me 5 years to get over it. I finally
discovered that if I put down my work for a time to get on with some other
part of my life, that I could just pick it up again another day. And
perhaps what makes me an artist is what makes me keep my eyes and other
senses wide open while I go about doing all the non-artistic stuff. I am
even a bit laid back about it now, because I've learned over the years that
all the non-artistic activities of my life simply add to my experience
which inevitably becomes part of the next phase of art work. The Julia
Cameron quote bears that out, except I might say instead that art is like
mint, or some other MORE INTERESTING type of invasive plant than crabgrass,
as it pushes through the cement.

I guess this is one of those questions where I'll continue to vascilate.
Thanks all, for your ideas!

Mark Alexander
Lakeville, CT