Join me....

I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Art & Fear

I literally stumbled upon a book I am very much enjoying right now: Art & Fear, Observations on the Perils and Rewards of Artmaking.

One of the reasons I am sharing two very old (relatively) paintings here is that when I did them (and I proably also did a third) I absolutely loved the subject: a woman I had
photographed in Pike's Market in Seattle.  In my mind I could see the glorious
painting even as I snapped the photo.  alas, I tried and I tried. 

 No one, save me,
really fell in love with the results...and truthfully they fell far short of what I saw in my mind.

Now the book: part of the fear in artmaking is that of failure, and we often define failure as the
fact that no one else "buys" a particular piece.  The authors rightfully point out that this fear (as with others) feeds itself until we can no longer act.  In fact, since I enjoyed working on this piece I should attempt it again...and again...and again.  If for no other reason than the fact that I enjoy it and I will build on the parts I screwed up.  (In fact, I could not tell you which of these pieces I did first.) 

Anyway, as further illustration I will paraphrase a story the authors, Bayles & Orland share and let you, an artist in some field of your life, draw your own conclusion:

A ceramics professor divided his new class into two segments; one side of the room would receive their grade based upon the amount of pottery they completed within the semester and the other would receive it based upon the  "quality" of a final piece.  When the prof arrived for final grading to examine the quality pieces and to weigh the quantity pieces the results were as he expected: those that produced the quantity also exhibited the highest quality.  Those that sat around trying to imagine the perfect piece were basically immobilitzed to create it.  The students who plunged in for quantity constantly learned from the discarded pieces automatically showing (quality)improvement on the next one.
Today I resolve to be a student in the quantity side of the be patient, you may see a few
more "failures" here but the chances of success will also be so much the greater!  Cheers!

p.s. you can order this book, inexpensively, used, at the link on the title: enjoy.


  1. "Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression." - Isaac Bashevis Singer, writer, Nobel laureate

    Thanks for sharing this bit from the book. It inspires me to do more and more! BTW, I think your attempts at capturing the flower lady are quite lovely.

  2. Great post, Cindy. By the professor's standings I should be showing improvement in my art any day now.


Include your comment below, will forgo the word verification part until I receive spam.