Tuesday, August 10, 2010

art and fear

I am currently reading 
Art and fear - Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of ARTMAKING
by David Bayles and Ted Orland.
So far it hits home.
Here are some gems interspersed with my thoughts on current art work...
Artists don't get down to work 
until the pain of working is exceeded 
by the pain of not working.
-Stephen DeStaebler
At least for me that unfortunately can be too true.
Since painting is still near impossible because pressure on the scar 
(on 'that finger' as I am now calling it) sends me through the roof,
I decided to see if I could cut foam and carve some stamps.
gotta create somehow...
Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be.  For many people, that alone is enough to prevent their ever getting started at all - and for those who do, trouble isn't long in coming. Doubts, in fact soon rise in swarms...
This is a whole different type of art for me. 
I would like to sell something on etsy this fall and hope that notebooks, 
bookmarks and handmade cards 
might work for gift sales pre-Christmas.
Art is like beginning a sentence before you know its ending.  The risks are obvious:  you may never get to the end of the sentence at all - or having gotten there, you may not have said anything.  This is probably not a good idea in public speaking, but it's an excellent idea in making art.
Here is my stamp stash ready to go and 
here are my first attempts at cards.
having fun anywho :} (get it - the owl below will say 'who')
Ordinary art means something like:  all art not made by Mozart.  After all, art is rarely made by Mozart-like people - essentially (statistically speaking) there aren't any people like that.  But while geniuses may get made one-a-century or so, good art gets made all the time.  Making art is a common and intimately human activity filled with all the perils (and rewards) that accompany any worthwhile effort.  The difficulties artmakers face (I like that term - artmakers) are not remote and heroic, but universal and familiar.
I like owls and will have to do some crows of course.
Art is made by ordinary people.  Creatures having only virtues can hardly be imagined making art.  ...The flawless creature wouldn't need to make art.  And so, ironically, the ideal artist is scarcely a theoretical figure at all.  If art is made by ordinary people, then you'd have to allow that the ideal artist would be an ordinary person too, with the whole usual mixed bag of traits that real human beings possess.  This is a giant hint about art, because it suggests that our flaws and weaknesses, while often obstacles to our getting work done, are a source of strength as well.  Something about making art has to do with overcoming things, giving us a clear opportunity for doing things in ways we have always known we should do them.  
I blogged about this same idea here.
I think this one will be a 'Jack and the beanstalk' and say 'once upon a time'...
At least I am having fun and trying not to overanalyze.
How about you?  
What art are you doing for fun this week?
The last quote I will leave you with tonight -
All you can work on today is directly in front of you. 
 Your job is to develop an imagination of the possible.
Doesn't that simplify it a little?


  1. Pam, you are such an inspiration....can't do one kind of art you find another...love the stamps....those cards are going to be great...

    I love the term artmakers....suits me just fine....This is a very enlightning post...I need to reread it and ponder for awhile....

    I hope your finger continues to improve...

  2. i LOVE the quotes! and the cards are going to be adorable. :)

  3. first let me say, your cards are adorable, and as an artmaker, you will go to any lengths to make art, even with "that finger"!
    i HAVE to get this book...just from the quotes you have put out there, it's something i know i want to curl up with...
    you are an inspiration..

  4. Wonderful, wonderful blog -- so glad I found you.

    (((I worked in an art and craft supply store for more years than I'd like to admit, so I am able to recognize really creative stamp work when I see it)))

    Thanks also for the challenge to "develop my imagination of the possible". I am headed out with my camera and will try to do just that. Thank you very much. My day now has a theme...

  5. I love your blog, I love your work and I love this post...that's it I am putting you on my blog list right now:D....sorry to hear about your finger, I'll keep reading to see whats happened to you...hope it gets better soon but it's inspiring to see you plug away and see what can work for you in your current situation:D

  6. Wonderful post - I'm very impressed at your drive to make art any way you can at the moment :)

    I think Art & Fear is a great book... I first read it in college - I think it's time to pull it off the shelf again!

    p.s. I have a gnome that travels with me - I'll have to post his photos on flickr :)

  7. I am loving your creation and those stamps are gorgeous! I always want to make my own stamp design but i have yet to find the right tools here at the local craft shop! That book looks great ~ i will have to check it out at the local book shop! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

  8. Thanks for the post, i gotta get that book. Your stamps are adorable and i'm anxious to see your collection of cards...
    your dogs always make me smile.

  9. this was THE perfect post for me to read today. thank you!

  10. Your cards are wonderful! I'm happy to hear that you've found a way to express yourself creatively now that painting is difficult for you, but my prayer for you is that your pain will cease and you will be able to once again pick up your brushes. You paintings are gorgeous.

    xo Erin

  11. Loving your post and stamps that you have created!
    I truly enjoyed your interview with Malia!
    I hope that the pain will lesson and heal so you may create any way you want to soon.
    All my best, Theresa

  12. Terrific artwork and I love your Jack and the Beanstalk connection.