Art Quote of the Day

“The ‘state of the world’ and the state  of design need to be brought together.

While the destruction of the planet’s natural environments comes from many quarters, it is climate change that  has most dramatically  and  recently entered public consciousness.  Yet there are two major factors associated with this problem that mostly go  unrecognized.  The first is that  even if solutions were to arrive immediately ( a very unlikely prospect) the problem is ging to be around for a long time as some greenhouse gases have an atmospheric life of well over 200  years. And the second is that there is no real sense of how bad things will get, or where the actual ‘tipping point’ into climate chaos is – climate chaos combines high levels of unpredictable climatic behaviour with, correspondingly, the end of predictable weather patterns.

As change has to be by design rather than chance, design has to be in the front – line of transformative action.  But for design to be able to perform this role, the sum of all design practices, including architecture, themselves have to be  redesigned.  “

Design Futuring – Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice by Tony Fry

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Art Quote of the Day

“Every intrepid traveler knows that each journey, no matter what its length or degree of difficulty, begins with a single step.  How one take that initial step and in what direction determines much of what will follow. As the order of the journey unfolds, we need to design the sequence of our encounters while being mindful of several characteristics of journeys that seek not simple the new, but the transformative.

The invitation to take the first steps should be presented in such a way that everyone can take that step; in other words, it should present the lowest threshold to participation.  If we feel in any way inadequate in these initial engagements, our sense of inadequacy is likely to permeate reactions to all subsequent activities. The initial engagement should therefore require the least amount of specialized information about art or any external subject matter.  For instance, the following would seem a poor initial question: “If you could be any artist during the Italian Renaissance, who would you be and what would you paint?”  A thoughtful introspective, question, but one that presupposes detailed information about time, place, circumstance, style and biographical information.  NO affect is required; it is all  conscious and deliberate work.  There is nothing personal to wrestle with and overcome.  Furthermore, response to the question requires  a degree of visual literacy and memory that not many people possess.  A better phrasing might be: ” If you could transport yourself to any time and any place, where would you go, when would you arrive, and what would you see?”  Here, the response can go to any time and any place and the only place they can go is where they CAN go; the place is of their choice and making , not the questioner’s .  They can image whatever they are capable of imaging, not something esoteric and difficult as is the task of imaging someone else’s style of seeing image- making.

The first steps (to  making art) ought to be technically easy for the same reasons.  Technique is always one of the great fears of any apprentice. The greater the fear, the greater the preoccupation with technical things.  This in turn leads to  timidity about the scope of imagination, narrowness of range of expression, and a concern for safety rather than depth.

The initial portions of the creative journey have as their prime purpose the establishment of a sense of trust and comfort in oneself, one’s peers , and the general kind of terrain to be explored.Once this foundation is developed, we can move on to the subsequent phase of the transformative journey, a gradual expansion of the invitation to fathom the whole depth and range of our thoughts and feelings concerning the place in the world we would have for ourselves.”

No More Secondhand Art – Awakening the Artist Within by Peter London

Art Quote of the Day

” Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave.”
Brancusi-

One week down,one to go. What’s that you say? One week done , of teaching the Winterim session at Edgewood, where students get an entire semester’s amount of work and credit.It’s an intense experience, 3 hours a day for each class ( I’m teaching 2 classes) for the students and for me as well. I chose today’s quote because  as an artist I know what Brancusi is talking about but , HEY, as an art TEACHER he has hit the nail on the head! I create the environment for them to make art, I “command” them to try their best, and seriously folks, teaching 6 hours of art everyday is working like a slave!! Teachers out there , are you with me??

This past week started out with me standing in for the model for Figure Drawing class. He hadn’t arrived yet so I got up on the platform and started explaining the measuring tools used by artists to map out the human figure. At some point I got down off the platform to check on people’s understanding. Thinking I would LEAP back up onto the platform gracefully , I miscalculated and fell flat on my face , IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY!! NICE! Great way to make a first impression. I have big black and blue marks on my legs marking the exact spots of impact….

The rest of the week went by in a blur of activity. The students get so much accomplished with so much time to work every day.They work ,”like slaves” and I’ve seen  the frustration, the tears ( oh yes), the excitement when it starts to come together, the relief when I tell them to not worry about the GRADE but make a big mess instead. I’ve heard all the excuses, ” I have control issues,” ” I was never good at using charcoal”, ”I CAN’T DRAW !!!!”  And have given them all the same ‘feedback’ , (command) ” Just keep trying”

If all goes like it has in the past , the second week will be more of the same; different projects, more frustration, more successes  and by the time it’s all over , most of the students are amazed at what they’ve accomplished in 2 short weeks! They’ve created art, gained some insight into what it takes to BE an artist , and gained confidence in their abilities to continue making art in the future.  It’s an amazing thing to see!

Art Quote of the Day

CREDO

I believe in art.

I do not believe in the “art world” as it is today.

I do not believe in art as a commodity.

Great art is in exquisite balance. It is restorative.

I believe in the energy of art, and through  the use of that energy , the artist’s ability to transform his or her life and, by example, the lives of others.

I believe that through our art, and through the projection of transcendent imagery, we can mend and heal the planet.

Audrey Flack– from commencement address delivered at the Pennyslvania Academy of the Fine Arts, May 1984

Art Quote of the Day

” The solutions to the problems posed in art do not lie outside in the realms of technique and formula; they reside in the realm of fresh thinking about perennial issues, in honest feelings and awakened spirit.

All creative journeys begin with a challenge to introspection, to fathom not only “what’s out there”. but “what’s in here.”  They are invitations to original response much as the student of Zen is confronted with a koan.  Seeking the ordinary  response, the pat and the past resolution may achieve a decent result but will most likely be of little transformative value. Illustrating a preconception keeps our hand slave to a mind that is already intent on its goals and means.  Responses drawn from our standing repertoire of answers will only reinforce the person we already are, which more than likely is much like the person we were. Which  is nice for the reassurance that memory brings, but provides little force by which to gain the high ground of an expanded future.”

Peter London – No More Secondhand Art – Awakening the Artist Within