Wednesday, February 9, 2011

considering mistakes

I had the pleasure this evening of listening to my artist friend Jeff, who is a gifted and accomplished ceramicist, photographer, and teacher, speak about his work and the sources of his creativity (see some of his most recent work here). He was being honored with an award of excellence from the high school that we both attended. His main theme was how fascinated he has always been with his two mediums (clay and photography) and how he explores and experiments and pushes the envelope until a “mistake” happens, and then he seizes that moment to turn the “mistake” into a new impetus for creation and exploration. His talk was passionate and straight on, eloquent in its intensity and wisdom, and an inspirational lift from the mundane issues of day-to-day artmaking. He gave what we do a new perspective for me, one that made me ask myself what my own passions are, while at the same time reviving and clarifying those passions. Sandstone. Texture. Beauty. Solidity. Balance. Jeff’s talk made me realize that I can stop feeling apologetic about my art, and stop questioning how others view my creativity and my commitment. Instead, as he said, I can just renew them, constantly, and pursue them, with passion. I owe him great thanks, and will tell him so.

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