Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Authentic work

What is authentic in art? I'm not talking about using microscopes and x-rays to verify a work was made by a particular hand. I am talking about the intentions of the maker. The artist should have the highest intentions for the work. The work should be created with honest intention on making it the best it can be.

Quality is something different. Quality may be pushed to a high degree of finish or worked in a rough manner. Quality can have infinite variation but is tempered with a personal aesthetic using honest intention on making the work the best it can be.

How can anyone possibly expect to judge a works authenticity? Perhaps art is exactly about judging authenticity and quality?

Monday, January 29, 2007


I like what Dennis Hollingsworth thinking about. skillz- the would be artist should create their own skill training regimen. A sculptor would learn more about metal fabrication at a community college than from any 25 year old MFA art professor. An art school could be half poly-tech and half art history and philosophy.

A different approach would be to train an artist to access technical trades men as an architect does the building trades. The artist as the mastermind directing metal fabricators.
Post Studio sits in the chair of an engineer without scope or experience to know what is possible.

Where is the art for the artist? Is it purely in the concept or does it flow from the process of making? The art is the process for the artist and the product for the audience. The product may 99% concept but takes some form to bridge the mind gap.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Optimal Experience

I came across this idea of optimal experience from the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
This idea of course seems to be in the realm of painting.

Below are the markers of the optimal experience. I have made comments on the markers from my experience during painting.

1. A challenging activity that requires skill
It seems obvious that painting requires skill. It is does take constant effort to create new challenges so that the work doesn't start to feel repetitive or formulaic.

2. The merging of action and awareness
It is the nature of the painting process to pay close attention to the sensation to what is being seen. This does also lead to a feeling of awakening in the moment and quieting of the inner voice.

3. Clear Goals and feedback
The goals are simple for me to paint what I see. But it fascinating what the sensation of seeing feels like.

4. Concentration on the task at hand
Concentration is important. I think that having a solid technique helps sustain concentration.

5. Lacking sense of worry about losing control
This takes practice. There is a fear of failure but after a painting fails a few times then its not so scary. Also the more you paint the easier it is to gage the appropriate challenge.

6. The loss of self consciousness
This is important for the the creation but reappears when the product is set free in the world.

7. The transformation of time
In painting this can be both the frozen sustained act of looking and the sense of time flies when you are having fun.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Big Read

I see that David Kipen was just in Enterprise, Oregon as part of the NEA's Big Read Program. The Big Read seeks to encourage a culture of readers. They are focusing on a few classics.

Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

My √Āntonia
Willa Cather

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway

Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck

The Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan

Monday, January 22, 2007

Open Studio

My Studio will be open for the Last Friday Art Walk this Friday. Maps for a self guided tour are available here.
Life Drawing At DIVA

I am starting up the open figure drawing class at DIVA again. Now we will be drawing from the model on Tuesdays.

Drop-in Figure Drawing

Date: 1/23/2007
Time: 6:00PM-9:00PM
Location: 110 W. Broadway, Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (541) 344-DIVA (344-3482)
Cost: $10

Drop-in Figure Drawing
Instructor John Holdway
Every Tuesday 6pm-9pm Starting January 23rd
Cost: $10 per session.
10% discount when purchasing a block of 5 or 10 sessions.

Working from models this class will help the figure drawer lean techniques to improve. Instructor John Holdway will be on hand to assist and coach. Warm up exercises will include gesture drawing. Students will move into drawing longer sustained poses in each three-hour session

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Christo and Seth Godin

I was watching Seth Godin's speech to Google on Sam Karp's blog.

I would love to hear Seth Godin analyze the work of the artists Christo and Jeanne Claude. They are able to tap an entire network of art historians and museums. Their work of environmental installation by their nature creates a spectacle that can be discussed and artifacts from the event exhibited. By engaging the art world in this way the art is infused with a kind of meaning that does not exist in the work itself. Christo and Jeanne Claude maintain that their work does not contain underlying symbolic meaning. The work is to be appreciated as it experienced. But the work benefits from the buzz that the event creates. The "story" of the event easily overshadows the actual piece. So does the art exist in creating something that can be discussed?

I am fascinated with this idea and would love to hear comments.
Who Killed the Electric Car

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


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