Something Similar

As a potter, I’ve landed on a strategy for making my work that suits my temperament. Work is developed in small batches, limited to the amount of work that fits on a few ware boards at a time. Forms may be made with a set design in mind, but any adherence to a plan is generally loose at best. Form is regulated by exploration of personal taste and adherence to personal standards. Simple and somewhat routine.

… but while the form is a product of craft, created in adherence to an asthetics of functionality, form isn’t the end goal, form is a surface used for exploration of expression. The aesthetics of functionality is set boundaries dictated by tradition. Form that falls outside of personal standards is edited with a hammer. The aesthetics of surface are limited only by skill, taste, and curiosity, and while risk taking is encouraged, work that falls outside of personal tastes is openly questioned, occasionally applauded, but more often scrapped. As a consequence, a loss rate well over 50% is not unfamiliar in the ceramics studio.

Much the same approach is beginning to creep into the drawing studio. While learning the craft of drawing, risk taking is encouraged and as a consequence, most work is questionable.

I don’t know what makes a work “good” but I feel that I recognize “bad” when I see it. Unfortunately, what seems to interest me the most is work that seems interestingly problematic (not bad).

Interestingly Problematic Work in this case implies work that’s outside expectation, that proudly shares its character flaw as a celebration for being what is, and doesn’t feel the need to emulate in order to validate.

Post-it 4/23

Personality is repeated patterns of behavior that can be observed and measured. (I suspect our unconscious stradgies, tendencies and tastes, that we use to make marks and create compositions reflect our personality. Our conscious strategies that are used to manage our personality is our ego. My personal view is that for each of us, our tendencies are an authentic elements of our personalities, while the stradgies and tastes that we develope are overlays set onto us by the cultures that we are embedded in.) As a practicing artist, what you choose to make and how you choose to make it develops an observable pattern structure. It reflects a world view shared with our ego, even if what is being reflected is challenge to the status quo. 

Decisively Indecisive

I was thinking about shaving off the beard this morning. This is how it unconsciously shows up later in the day… It’s all to easy to write off indecision as a necessity of the moment,  but once the moment is over, the indecision is left on the page as a decision…
That counts as decisive, right? 

Post-it 4/22

Is it fundamentally important to differentiate between the action of drawing and the mark making? This is possibly a matter of personal semantics, but when I catch myself drawing, it’s an action of defining an image. It describes form and shape using line and tone. Mark making is suggestive, an accumulation of independent actions that, as they build up, lend themselves to a goal.

The resulting drawing is an artifact of the artistic experience of making marks.

It’s a difference in ideals that’s at play.