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Guest ford hallam

"Time is on my side", Mick Jagger

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Guest ford hallam

Yet further thoughts,

 

In the art world in general the consensus would appear to be that conception ( of an artwork ) is independant of its actual execution ( or creation ) and that the actual making is may even be secondary. This notion probably issues from Clement Greenbergs (art historian/critic) assertion that "inspiration is the only factor that cannot be copied"

 

I would rather mantain that process ( technique ) and content are interdependant and mutually enriching. I can`t claim sole credit for this heretical ( in the greater art world at least ) view, my current opinion has been very strongly influenced by the now sadly deceased english writer and critic on the applied arts, Peter Dormer.

 

I`m probably just about done with this discussion, time to stop flogging a dead horse :rolleyes:

 

as always,

 

Ford :(

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Peter Dormer? Haven't yet heard of him...

I'll do some snooping in the public library catalogs, and art museum here in town. Can you recommend any particular readings?

 

Ford, I think you hit a nail on the head with the Clement Greenberg allusion- we're in a time right now where indeed the concept is more important than the execution. I went to a very liberal art school (yes, they all are, but relatively speaking... :( ) in the early 90's where concept ruled and we all fooled ourselves into thinking we were reading philosophy instead. I always took an exception to this, perhaps thinking that for any art or craft to be fully universal (in reception and appreciation) we need to get rid of the ego.

 

I started calling this ego-centric stuff "save it for your diary art"- you know, where there seems to be more narrative to support the piece, than the actual work standing alone... About that time I started looking more and more at decorative arts/crafts and Asian modes of thought and haven't looked back.

 

Maybe through 'intelligent hands' we circumvent that portion of the brain which wants to have conscious control over creation... I guess that's a concept too :rolleyes:

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Guest DFogg

It seems that technique has its own set of pitfalls. What I see out there is a lot of art without craft and craft without art.

 

Personally I don't aspire to either in my work, I am just happy to keep the neurons firing and to end up with something at the end of the day that pleases me and that accounts for my time. Occasionally I am rewarded by making something that just seemed to come out of me, from some place I did not know was there.

 

In the end, this is an intensely personal thing we do, putting tools to materials. What we are exposed to in the world is often others selling stuff, making and selling are two entirely separate paths. Unfortunately, labor intensive work is not attractive to sellers because the supply will always be limited so we are forced to learn to sell ourselves.

 

There is much mystery in the buying and selling. I am constantly perplexed when a Pez dispenser sells for more than I could ever get for my work. But then, a flower has more beauty than I could ever hope to reproduce.

 

post-1-1120231932.jpg

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Don,

 

how right you are, in so many ways. and posting that flower pretty much puts all this talk in perspective. It is intensely personal and intimate, this work and putting it out there is a brave step, I do think though, that we must be braver still in submitting our efforts to the genuine critique of our peers. We won`t always agree but there may be value in the actual act of being able to accept honest feedback. If only to help consolidate ones own approach.

 

Hmmm, i did`nt particularly intend to suggest that last bit, but now it`s out... we`ll see what you`all feel about that. :rolleyes:

 

as always, Ford

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Personal and intimate, true, and as such it is difficult for others to grasp what you are truly feeling, even your peers. And what defines a peer? Oil painters focus on oil painting, water colourists cleave to water colour, hard rock sculptors, well you get my meaning. and they all have their sub-groups. A while back (years) I was demonstrating at a gem show when an 8 yr. boy who was observing me, said, Why do you do it this way, wouldn`t it be better this way? He was right of course. I had spent years doing it the hard way (self taught problem) Again this April I was at another show and had done an ivory bear`s head when a fellow carver (22 yr old master soapstone carver, sic.) looked at it and commented that it didn`t look like a bear and that he was the only carver who could really capture the look of a bear. Ah, to be young and full of "poop" :(:rolleyes: Imagine an 8 yr old grasping this failing, and this "artist" failing so completely. When you work in the public eye you need an iron skin and a new definition of "peer" or not. How deep can you take this subject. Obviously we have way too much time on our hands. Of course I have to catch a boat today so I can "teach" a one day soapstone carving class in Sechelt tomorrow if the Ferry accident hasn`t screwed up things too much.

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Guest DFogg
we must be braver still in submitting our efforts to the genuine critique of our peers. We won`t always agree but there may be value in the actual act of being able to accept honest feedback. If only to help consolidate ones own approach.

 

I am not sure that I understand what you are saying. We all bring unique skills and perspectives to our work, what I look for when I see another's efforts is honesty and sincerity.

 

We confront our limitations every day, what we need from our peers is support. This is a hard life and there are precious few who can truly understand the sacrifices and committment it takes to pursue it.

 

Where do we find support when we falter? For me it is the trusted peers that I turn to and to whom I lend my hand in return. There aren't many, but when I look at the culture, I realize that I am rich by comparison.

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Hi Don,

 

I think what Ford is getting at is it’s sometimes difficult to identify who our “peers†actually are. There are those who provide critique in an effort to be honestly constructive, and those who provide critique in an effort to remove the competition and justify their own work. The latter can’t raise themselves up to the level of the mountain, so they try to bring the mountain down to their level. Sometimes it is difficult to identify which is which, so for many artists it is a bravery test to expose themselves to those ego risks.

 

I loved what you said in the “flower†post, so to that I say – Amen!

 

PS – Have you considered making a series of damascus steel Pez dispensers? I’m reminded of seeing a “work of art†from a locally-famous artist in Ohio paid for by the local arts council (at a pretty penny rate, I might add). The work consisted of large plops of concrete on the lawn delivered by a concrete truck, and decorated with the artist’s handprints. At least the edges were flush with the ground so it is easy to mow around. The losing entry was someone who was going to stack bricks like no human had ever stacked bricks before.

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Guest ford hallam

Hey Kathleen,

 

over here we call them "merchant bankers" :rolleyes:

 

Ford ( subdued, chastised smiley )

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Guest Clive
Unfortunately, it's been my experience that the latter individuals you describe Tom far outweigh those whose motives come from good intentions.  Essentially, I believe how one feels about oneself & one's work is of primary importance, rather than focusing on one's peers to provide validation.  If one is standing strong in oneself, then, one is able to distinguish the authentic from the fake, therefore, also distinguish the authentic critiques from those who intention it is to 'take the competition out to make themselves look better or succeed on the backs of others'.

 

Does the intention of the critic really matter? The most useful insight I've ever received about my own work was from a fellow who really didn't like me very much and while I'm sure he intended his comments to hurt me, they were in fact invaluable... although I do recall him being rather grumpy when I showed him some work a few years later that had benefited from his "advice". :)

 

Another aspect of critique is that a seemingly positive comment might just as much be motivated by a desire to "take out the competition" by encouraging the person to think they doing better than they actually are and therefore less likely to serious examine what they are doing.

 

What motivates the critic is therefore a very tricky question and one I believe is best avoided by simply accepting that which you can use and discarding what you can't.

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Well put Clive. The motivations of the critic are irelevant. Either there is something there to be had or there isn't, and as Kathleen states, we must ultimately rely on our own judgements.

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I have just reread this topic, and would encourage you all to do so. This is one of the great discussions we have had on TCP. Heading into the new year, if we all reread this topic, it may serve as a reminder to us all to strengthen our commitment to our ideals and abilities in the year(s) ahead.

 

Many thanks to the authors of these posts.

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