Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

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
>>effect).

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