2007-10-15

 

Art and Fear and Changing Minds

"When Columbus returned from the new world and proclaimed the earth was round, almost everyone else went right on believing the world was flat. Then they died - and the next generation grew up believing the world was round. That's how people change their minds."

Art & Fear : Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland

This is a pretty good book if you are interested in thoughts and observations on artists and art making. It is a short book, but it has a number of interesting passages.

"The poem in the head is always perfect. Resistance begins when you try to convert it into language" - Stanley Kunitz quoted in the above mentioned book.

"... most artists don't daydream about making great art - they daydream about having made great art. What artist has not experienced the feverish euphoria of composing the perfect thumbnail sketch, first draft, negative, or melody - only to run headlong into a stone wall trying to convert that tantalizing hint into the finished mural, novel, photograph, sonata. The artist’s life is frustrating not because the passage is slow, but because he imagines it to be fast." (bold emphasis is mine).

Imagination is in control when you begin making an object. The artwork's potential is never higher than in that magic moment when the first brushstroke is applied, the first chord struck. But as the piece grows, technique and craft take over, and imagination becomes a less useful tool." (bold emphasis is mine)

Labels: , , , ,


Comments:
And now once again we are told "The World Is Flat" by Thomas Friedman. I suppose it's all about perspective...
 
barbara: ha, ha. – although, it loses some of its impact once you find out it is not really about a flat earth, but rather an economically flat earth.
 
thanks for the heads up on the book. will try to check it out.
 
I'll have to seek out that book, as ssome of those passages certainly resonate!
 
kaymac: if you are an artsy type person (or think you are an artsy type person), this book may help some observations on the artistic process. Mind you, it is not about getting inspired, or how to get into the "zone" (or at least, not in the parts I have read so far).

breal: it has some good moments in it. I was turned on to it because it was recommended by Heather Sellers in her book Page after Page (ok, she recommended a whole bunch of books - including Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, which I had previously read and disliked).
 
it is never be easy to change our minds.
 
ancilla: that is true. I would hope that people would change their minds based on facts, but, the truth is that facts are rarely just facts. More often, they are stretched and distorted to support a particular point of view, rather than to give reliable information.
 
Interesting...I can see most of this except...."Imagination is in control when you begin making an object."

I think it is rather out of control and unleashed or not reined-in at the beginning when you think all things are possible, and that it becomes more controlled as you get further into the project as technique etc. narrow the focus and possibilities.
 
MOI: I don't think they are saying the imagination is ordered, but rather it is the imagination which is in charge in the beginning. Afterwards, the imagination cedes control to technique and craft.
 
"... most artists don't daydream about making great art - they daydream about having made great art. What artist has not experienced the feverish euphoria of composing the perfect thumbnail sketch, first draft, negative, or melody - only to run headlong into a stone wall trying to convert that tantalizing hint into the finished mural, novel, photograph, sonata. The artist’s life is frustrating not because the passage is slow, but because he imagines it to be fast. It is so true it hurts!
 
It is easier to be a dreamer than a doer. It is something I am working hard on (though maybe not hard enough, since I still dream more than I do).
 
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?