Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Narrow Confines of Art

sometimes I'll throw my voice into the argument, sometimes I am tired of the debate between art, Art, artisan, crafts, and the varying (often nitpicky) distinctions between them.
Perhaps, instead of fighting over which activity is or is not art, we should ask if it inspires art, or is capable of artistic moments. I bring this up because only so much can be done by thinking of aesthetics, pondering the questions, or conceptualizing "artistic" ideas. Involving physical motion, practice, endeavoring to be better at a craft/skill has just as much ability to bring forth unique insight. And, I am talking about the kind of craft that is not intentionally art, or couched in normal art terms.

I am proud to know many people "outside the Arts" who have the ability to look at their work creatively and find moments of art in their field....
furniture makers
picture framers
welders
auto mechanics and body repair painters
bakers
kayak makers
surfboard shapers
civil engineers
software engineers
(and there are more that I'll surely think of later)

Who do you know who is not an "artist", but has moments of creativity, insight, and possibly Art?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Alpaca Hat



on the southern end of Vallecito Lake

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Looking South

Mistakes in Practice

" There are several poor ways of practice that you should understand. Usually when you practice..., you become very idealistic, and you set up an ideal or goal which you strive to attain and fulfill. But as I have often said, this is absurd. When you are idealistic, you have some gaining idea within yourself; by the time you attain your ideal or goal, your gaining idea will create another ideal. So as long as your practice is based on a gaining idea, and you practice... in an idealistic way, you will have no time actually to attain your ideal. Moreover, you will be sacrificing the meat of your practice. Because your attainment is always ahead, you will always be sacrificing yourself now for some ideal in the future. You end up with nothing. But even worse tha this idealistic attitude is to practice... in competition with someone else. This is a poor, shabby kind of practice."

pg. 77-78 of "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" by Shunryu Suzuki
published by Shambhala Publications Inc.
ISBN 13: 978-1-59030-267-5

Sunday, January 17, 2010

River Bend

Your Eye Learns Faster than Your Hand

Remembering the frustration I experienced in drawing class; knowing that I still pause with expectation before a blank page; seeing the angst on drawing students' faces, I often remind them that their eyes will learn faster than their hands. They learn to look faster than they learn to manipulate the marks they can make on a surface. Their eyes are more sophisticated than their fingers. Frustration sets in when they draw too complete a picture in their mind first.

Drawing is a practice.

Mistakes are made. Learning follows.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Confluence

Why I take photographs

I see too many angles, too many possibilities, and my eye picks up more information than I can possibly put on a piece of paper or canvas. The possibilities and information enter my brain too fast for drawing when I am someplace new. If I care too much, how can I possibly mark it all down?

The camera helps me compose. It helps me take notes. Is fast enough to go through many ideas quickly. I lets me take the snapshot so that I can leave it alone; let the pile of photos sit while I let time decide which composition, which spot, which view, which feature is important.

The camera is a way for me to draw on my mind before I start drawing on paper.

This explains why I take so many pictures of the same thing.
It also explains why I can only reference my own pictures. Using someone else's pictures shortcuts the initial drawing experience.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sunset Snowshoe



at lower altitudes (7000') so the snow was a bit crusty, therefore did not need the longer tails on the shoes

I like how the snow gets very blue just before sunset, the suddenly pops with all sorts of color immediately after the sun goes behind the ridge. Purple, pink, orange are sudden additions to the prevailing blue and white.

Sunday, January 03, 2010