paintings

zazzle store

Categories

Thelma T's

Large Thelma t-shirt


XL Thelma t-shirt


« Questions | Main | Happy Birthday Blue Girl!! »

May 04, 2007

Comments

Great post...like I tell my daughter, for every good word or sentence, you're going to have to wade through a ton of BS first. The brain is just a machine; it only cranks out information (especially in our info-choked culture). It's the fusing of that data with--for lack of a better word--the soul that creates art. See? Even now I'm tanking...I better go take a hot bath.

Amen, Jennifer.

"It's the fusing of that data with--for lack of a better word--the soul that creates art"

If only there were a clearcut recipe for how to do that. Half the time it feels like trying to find a penny in a pile of laundry in the dark... while wearing mittens... with your feet stapled to the floor... and crazy robins buzzing your head.

...with crazy HORNY robins buzzing your head.

Glen- I stand corrected.
Hey, tell Grizzled the rabbits are eating his strawberries. I've shooed them away numerous times, but now they're giving me the raspberries while eating the strawberries.

Thanks, Claire. Did you go to the show last night?

Yes, and I'm very tired, though the band was good. I was out late too many times this week. I'm flirting with a cold and wish I didn't have all the work I have to do this weekend. Grump.

But it's almost Saturday!

Couldn't agree with you more. Risk is essential for creative work, but it's also inescapable, no matter what kind of life you lead. If you don't notice the risk, you're just not paying attention.
Some of us experience the other problem. We rush to tank. The thrill of the roll-over! The unshakable conviction that if a creative work hits the absolute nadir, it's so bad it's good--the best kind of good, that really horrible, really bad, badder, baddest good.
The pull of gravity never lets up, luring me into total free-fall. Sure, it hurts when you crash. But those nanoseconds of the fabulous plummet can be addictive.
And then I wonder when why I'm not successful...

Grump, I say, grump!

Grasshopper, I'm thinking you like rollercoasters.

"The unshakable conviction that if a creative work hits the absolute nadir, it's so bad it's good--the best kind of good, that really horrible, really bad, badder, baddest good."

:)

"But those nanoseconds of the fabulous plummet can be addictive."

That's an interesting slant. I'll have to think on that one.

Claire- your comment reminded me of an old cartoon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElVGwX5SfP4>here comes the grump

A tiny story of intentional tanking and magnificant recovery as well as the unintentional tanking due to the stroke and the legendary new work that followed.

In a video that accompanied a show of Chuck Close prints, he (Chuck) said that back in the '60s he was painting more De Koonings than De Kooning. He realized that he had to leave behind his treasured bag of tricks, the fabulous color, the lush paint and begin the search all over again for his authentic voice.

http://www.artandculture.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/ACLive.woa/wa/artist?id=490

Kar- I'm so glad you put up the link. I was trying to think of that this morning, the talk you and I had about him was very much on my mind, but I couldn't remember.

I think our definitions of tanking are different. Yours sounds more interesting and less World of Warcrafty.

No Chuckles, there is no WoW involved as far as I know.

Jennifer, this was a great post. It reminded me of the other you wrote about trying to teach your daughters to work through the frustration of boredom. I know they're not the same ideas, but they are related somehow. At this very instant, my brain is tanking and I can't think straight, but I do believe the thoughts go together, kind of.

I hate tanking. I hate when I can't get an idea. I hate when I write a sentence that sounds all garbled and stupid. I get very frustrated and close my eyes and hold my breath. (I can be very dramatic) And then, I try to remind myself that an idea always comes. Somehow, someway. And it normally does. Especially in my creative *job/working* life. And the closer it gets to the deadline, the less of a perfectionist I try to be. I get desperate and just go for anything. And in that *going for anything* I normally come up with something that passes for *ok.* Most times clients think that *ok* is *fabulous*, but *ok* bugs me. Most times when I think something's *fabulous*, a client will make so many changes that it just ends up being *ok*. Gah! What am I talking about?

:)

I think I've moved on to the definition of *good* -- and God only knows what that is.

Must get back to the last *ok* thing I must do for the day. I'm not EVEN gonna go for fabulous.

Is that bad?

BG- the posts are very related and were going to be a two-parter in my mind, but I never got back to this until after we emailed this morning.

As for not even going for fabulous, I say you take grasshopper's method and go for "the best kind of good, that really horrible, really bad, badder, baddest good."

do you give yourself permission to tank, Chuckles? Or do you just sit back and fling arrows? or drop heals? perhaps permission to tank can open up new levels of creativity for you too.

J-

One of the most useful things I learned from my first boss is a handful of techniques that allow for analysis and development of projects, even when the 'spark' isn't there just yet.

admittedly, architecture may be somewhat different from the idiom you're working with, but what I discovered is that if you've got some tasks that allow you to slog into a project- for me it would be space analysis, research into reference material, even just diagraming the site- eventually my brain will spark and fire up, allowing the good stuff to come.

sometimes, it takes quite a while.

For Christmas this year, I received a big book of escher's work. In it are numerous studies of all of his work, and some of his letters to his brother- it seems that nothing ever came easily for him, it was always just a matter of bashing things around until the pictures on his paper started to get close to the pictures in his head.

Sometimes, it can be a matter of sticking with it, no matter how much bashing it takes.

"it seems that nothing ever came easily for him, it was always just a matter of bashing things around until the pictures on his paper started to get close to the pictures in his head."

That sounds about right, bashing around, allowing for bashing and not expecting perfection from the get-go. It's funny though, when I think of Escher's work, I think of someone who must have had enormous vision and control. It's always nice to know they needed to struggle as well.

BP? Are you an architect? Cool!

bp- you know what it is sometimes? It's not even that you don't have a spark, but you just don't feel like proceeding the same way. I think sometimes we get so used to the method that works for us, that we become afraid to try something else because the initial outcome won't initially be as good, but it's worth trying new ways and developing new methods. I feel like I'm strangling ideas right now. I have ideas and I could easily implement them in my old ways, but I feel like there is little freedom in that and little room for new expression. I need to try something different and be willing to stink at it.

Wow, Jennifer. That's a deep thought. I can't think about it that deeply. I gotta get it where I can. I gotta go with the flow.

I totally get what you mean, but I can't help but get this feeling (just me, no one else) that if I forced it -- if I forced it through another way, then I am "forcing" it -- shouldn't it just "come" -- the way it just...does?

I don't mean forcing it, but I think I actually mean allowing it to come without so much planning, without so much thought and of course it will be rough, but it will be new and who knows where new will lead. I'm just getting tired of sitting down and feeling totally controlled by going through my usual steps.

You know what this just reminded me of? One of my art teachers. He said I got too hung up on really controlling the whole drawing and that there was little room for expression in something so controlled. He made me scribble all of my drawings for a couple of days. I was not allowed to think too much. After that, he made me spend a week drawing using my foot. My foot drawings were terrible to start with, but it did get me out of my rut.

Maybe I need to draw with my foot again. :)

Of course, in architecture, I'm guessing it pays to have rigid steps. Heaven forbid the buildings fall down because someone was tired of the process.

Kathleen just melted my frontal lobes.

I'm so sorry, Chuckles. That sounds messy.

The first time I got a first draft of a paper from a VERY respected colleague who is known for his prodigous publication rate, my inner self thought (this is HORRIBLE!!!! Can't this guy write any better than this!) And, I picked up my pen and edited and made it better. (Which - truth be told is much easier than getting the bones down in the first place.) What he did by sharing a crappy first draft was underscore the importance of showing up and putting in the effort in the first steps without worrying too much about the niceties. It is easy to make things better. It is hard to get them started - and if you wait to share the work until the work is perfect, you are wasting WAY too much time on details that would be better spent on getting feedback. Might not be true in a less collaborative environment - but it does work well in terms of making lots of stuff happen and happen fast.

Yeah, just getting something down is important. I hate the finishing these days. I hate having to make final choices. I like the middle... full of promise, full of leeway, full of excitement, but no commitment. :)

I love Karla's comment. And that's something I definitely need to work on. I act like I *want* feedback -- constructive criticism -- but, just try giving it to me. That's definitely an area where I need to grow up.

"You talkin' to me? Save it."

Jennifer! What an interesting discussion. You like the middle? The middle makes me nauseous. Maybe not the *exact* middle. Right before I get to the middle I can barely stand it all. Then maybe, once I hit the middle, I feel like I'm home free.

I *love* when it's done. Done. Put to bed. Then I move on to the next thing.

BG- I like when it's done as well, but when it's done, you've made all of your decisions. In the middle, it's just full of possibility. I probably second-guess too much when it's done.

That was really well put.

Now I just gots to remember it in "the moment".

Thanks

but when it's done, you've made all of your decisions. In the middle, it's just full of possibility. I probably second-guess too much when it's done.

heh, i find myself doing this all the time these days.

oh, and you pretty much described what i did in the darkroom for the past 4 months in that excellent post up there :)


PS: it's maserati (unless you knew that)

but when it's done, you've made all of your decisions. In the middle, it's just full of possibility. I probably second-guess too much when it's done.

heh, i find myself doing this all the time these days.

oh, and you pretty much described what i did in the darkroom for the past 4 months in that excellent post up there :)


PS: it's maserati (unless you knew that)

Thanks aif for the kind comments. From what I've seen, you've only had loveliness coming out of your darkroom.

Also, thank you for the correct spelling of Maserati. I am so not a car person. I even checked my spelling and it came up okay! I must have been using the Decider's spell check.

Jennifer, your teacher is on to some of the same things, with the scribbling with your foot.

When I was in college, one of my teachers criticized me for the instinctual level of my design, trying to get me to work on structured ways to approach it. At the time, I felt like "what's wrong with an instinctual approach? The result is GOOD, right?" which was never in dispute.

Later, I realized that if I would have had a very structured approach, he would have pushed me to discover how to solve problems instinctively. All he wanted was for me to learn other ways of designing. It wasn't until I was in a work environment, and I had to produce on schedule, that I understood the value of this flexibility. One of my art teachers did a similar thing, making us draw with our other hand, or with our eyes shut. It's all a way to break you out of habits, to kick the crutch out from under you.

It isn't even so much that with architecture, there are rational ways to design - I suspect any art can be approached rationally, at steps- but that in the absence of that switch turning to "go", there is a way to attack the problem. And what I've found is that once you start attacking it, no matter how you do it, most times that switch will eventually flip. Sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes it's a week of saying to yourself "THAT roundly sucks!".

One of the interesting things I've gone through is the evolution of the computer in my field. When I was starting out, computers were just coming into their own in producing working drawings, and maybe some 3d stuff if you had access to a mainframe, or at least a workstation. At the time, all of my work was done on paper, with markers and pencil. I'm very very good with marker and pencil.

But over the years, I've used the computer more and more. Now, the modeling tools like Sketchup, and of course P-Shop, let me illustrate things I couldn't do very well before. So I've got another tool to attack the problem, it just gives me another way to chip away at it.

Well, today I can talk. I'm just working on contracts, so the creative stuff is several hours away, still.

Good luck with the tanking though. Everyone has been there.

Oh- btw, those letters escher wrote? The pain of seeing these things in his mind and not being able to depict them was supremely frustrating, and, I think borderline terrifying for the man. At times, he seemed to fear going crazy.

And then, he would get things done, and the art world just said 'meh'.

"And then, he would get things done, and the art world just said 'meh'."

The art world... It seems as though many innovative people have been met with "meh".

I always liked the Gertrude Stein quote- Do it for yourself and strangers, meaning, do it for the people you have no idea it will affect. If you try to do it for someone, you'll be filtering and adjusting, but if you just do it for yourself, you'll find the *strangers* you were meant to find.

I bet Escher did think he was going crazy...

The comments to this entry are closed.

life is a verb


  • Life is a Verb - My art is in it!

Go visit these people

Blog powered by Typepad

Cutie Pie

cookies!