Thursday, May 5, 2011

Making Art

Here are a few little goodies that I made this week,
playing with dry media.  

I used colored pencils for the lettering and pastels for the abstract elements.  Gosh, they are so much fun to make. 

I enjoy stretching myself sometimes and then balancing it with the easy stuff at other times.  These were pure indulgence.  Colorful little snippets of artmaking.

Somewhere along the way, you see, I’ve changed how I think about my time in the studio.

I used to think of it as part Practice (to keep up my calligraphy or get my hand back in shape) and part Creation.  But the “creation” part had always been done with a not-very-subconcious goal of creating a finished, framed calligraphic piece. 

I guess I got this way because for decades my local calligraphy guilds have had annual exhibits.  Naturally I wanted to make pieces good enough to put in it, and that somehow led me to a 2-3 piece a year mindset.

(Sometimes I feel I’m at a disadvantage, having a calligrapher’s background, and not an artist’s.)

ANYway, the more I have been exposed to blogs and artists online, the more it seems like the artist’s goal is to, well,
create art regularly--if not daily.

For some reason, that just hadn’t been a Duh moment for me.

The art journalers seem to know all about this.  Their goal isn’t even art, it is creation.  No, not creation, perhaps expression.

For me, the difference lies in the routine habit of Making. 

When I view artmaking this way, it seems like a lifestyle, not the means to an end.  (The elusive masterpiece.)  J

It truly becomes the Journey that we all read about.

Also, while my brain has known for years to Do What You Love, I am now adding:  and Enjoy Doing.  Because if you don’t enjoy the process, you won’t want to do it very much. 

For example, making paper by hand.  I love love love the paper I’ve made, but I don’t love making it.  It’s very laborious and I’m only interested in the final product.  I don’t enjoy the process.  So, guess what?  I don’t do it very often.

(The exception to this, though, is my homemade yeast bread.  It’s a wee bit of trouble, but it’s just plain worth it!)

Yeah, it’s hard to not have the “piece” be the goal, but to have the “making” be the goal.  It’s a twist of the mindset, but I think I like it.  It’s a longer, broader view.

It reminds me of the quote by Corita Kent:  "Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make." 

Lucky Dog  J


  1. The three pieces shown are lovely! Thanks for posting them. And I appreciate your thoughts and sharing your journey.

  2. Thanks, Jo! And thanks to you, now I'm wishing for Denis Brown's DVDs. Your Italic piano piece is really gorgeous!