Art Quote for the Day

” Key works in every field  draw upon the wisdom of seemingly  unrelated disciplines.  Charles Eames learned how to mold plywood under heat and pressure while working at a naval shipyard, and later folded that knowledge into the design of his world-famous Eames chair. Physicist Howard Edgerton invented the high-speed strobe light, and then spent a good part of his career using it to reveal the unexpected beauty of fleeting events like the arc of a golfer’s swing or the splash form a single drop of water.  Ansel Adams combined the discipline from his early training as a musician with his knowledge of photographic chemistry, to create the Zone System for controlling the tonal scale of photographs.  There was a even a time late in World War II when a lone American military researcher saved the city of Kyoto from destruction by convincing military planners not to target it for saturation fire-bombing.  Why? Because he had once visited Kyoto’s gardens and shrines – and was moved to protect their beauty.

Real-world examples are wonderful things, and for good reason: precisely because they are real, they cut right through virtual worlds of theory and abstraction.. They also raise large questions about how the process of education actually works.  After all, if there’s no predicting which particular piece of knowledge or experience will alter prove essential, we’re faced with the disconcerting possibility that everything matters.  And if that knowledge or experience could come from anywhere , the clear implication is that teachers are everywhere. That line of reasoning may appear extreme , yet after field-testing those exact premises for about a half-century now, I’ve reached an inescapable conclusion:  YES.Everything does matter.  Teachers are everywhere.

Where, then, do you start?  Well, fortunately, you already have.  Conceptually speaking, that ever-changing instant of reality we call the present is merely a point in time weaving its way through a universe of potential we call the future .  One undeniable consequence of this is that everything  you learned or experienced in the past has somehow delivered you, at this moment, to this sentence .  You may be traveling a path that will closely parallel mine for years to come , or one that  fleetingly intersects at right angles – but right here, right now, we share this common ground.

The View from the Studio Door – How Artists Find Their Way In An Uncertain World by Ted Orland


Art Quote of the Day

” Making art is clearly a process of creation, yet seen up close by those who make art on a daily basis,it sometimes feels more like a process of attrition.  I’d hazard an educated guess that in this country of three hundred million souls there are probably only a few thousand visual artists, (maybe less) who could survive for any extended period of time on the income from their art sales alone.  The blunt truth is that from a purely economic standpoint, making art is an invtiation to invisibility.

Small wonder, then, that the art we make today so often seems ill-fitted to our world.  The problem is that the world is not as we wish. {NO SHIT!-ED.} The vein of silver you choose to work may not be a part of this world- it may be part of a better world, or at least a different world.  This was not an issue in pre-industrial cultures, which perceived the world – in all its good and bad manifestations- as having order and purpose. When every thing was seen to exist for a reason , ALL art mattered.

There’s reasonable evidence to show that civilization, at least in forms we readily recognize, stretches back about six thousand years. And we can say with considerable certainy that for the first fifty-seven of those sixty centuries, art played a central role in the daily life of the inhabitants of those cultures. ( In some cases artworks provide the ONLY key to understanding a long-lost culture.) The simplest of crafts played a role in the most sacred of ceremonies. ”

The View From the Studio Door  – Ted Orland

Art Quote of the Day

” When all is said and done, the challenges and uncertainties we face as artists might be encompassed by this one question: How do we learn to make art THAT MATTERS? That is assuredly the art we all hope to make, yet actual sightings of such work are rare – today , perhaps, even excessively rare.  After all, it’s not like you can hit Control-P ( that’s P for profound) on your word processor and arbitrarily make it so.  The gods are unimpressed with technology.  To make art is to follow the vein of silver that forms where your concerns touch the concerns of the world. Only when you  align your life with larger worlds is there even the chance that your work will matter.  Art that stands the test of time has always focused on the world’s classical concerns: life, death, love, loss, faith, judgement. What is good? What is true?  What does your art tell us about the way things really are? Or the way they should be ?”

The View from the Studio Door – How Artists Find Their Way in an Uncertain World by Ted Orland

Art Quote of the Day

” In academia it’s considered a virtue to frame questions that yield clear, concise and demonstrably correct answers – answers that remain unchanged no matter who responds to the question. But equally, there exists another entire universe of questions in which the answer ALWAYS changes as each new person engages the question. You can measure to a clear, concise and objective certainty the color of the sky above your head- but what is the color of the sky INSIDE your mind?  For Maxfield Parrish the correct answer was cerulean blue; for Albert Ryder it was midnight black; for Beethoven it was F major.  Questions that introduce shades of meaning and degrees of certainty and value judgments into the equation engage entire fields of human endeavor that fit poorly (if at all) within the prevailing educational framework. Like the arts, for instance. Making headway in the arts is a process of navigation without numbers. How do you measure what is GOOD? What happens when there are many correct answers to a given question? And what happens when some of those answers are profound, other superficial? Or when some are intellectually abstract, others searingly personal?

Your teachers provide introductions to ideas, to people, to processes-simply put, they provide you with the opportunity to make discoveries.”

The View from the Studio Door – Ted Orland

Art Quote of the Day

” There’s a pervasive myth, shared by artists and non-artists alike, that art is a product of genius, madness or serendipity.  Wrong. Art is not the chance offspring of some cosmic ( or genetic) roll of the dice.  Art is mostly a product of hard work. When you look back on the results of a lifetime of artmaking, even the role that talent played is insignificant.  Living life productively, however, is very significant.  If you learn to live your life productively, your artwork will take care of itself.  If you do not live your life productively, nothing will save your artwork – not even talent.  One of the less-advertised truths about art-making is that it’s more important to be productive than to be creative.  If you are productive, your creativity will take care of itself.  If you are not productive – well, if you’re not productive , then how exactly is it you intend to be creative?”

-Ted Orland, from the book THE VIEW FROM THE STUDIO DOOR –

Overcoming Obstacles

Where does “art” reside ?  In the intent of the maker? In the piece itself? In the response of the viewer? In the space between?”  This quote is from a book called, THE VIEW FROM THE STUDIO DOOR : How  Artists Find Their Way in an Uncertain World, by Ted Orland.  This author also has written a book called ART AND FEAR.  Both books are valuable  in helping artists surmount their creative  obstacles. As I now embark on BLOGGING , I am encountering lots of new obstacles and will use the things i’ve learned from these books and try to apply them to my learning process  with creating my blogsite.

The focus of my blog  will be to help my readers gain confidence in their creative process just as I gain confidence in my blogging process.  Please accompany me on this, our mutual path to discovery.