In a slump
Well this is not the first time I’ve been in a slump. This is however my first go at slumping the sculpture clay in the mould that was producing my paper thin slip cast porcelain vases.
Maybe this is more like it. I know most will like the thin porcelain best. When too many express they like what I’m doing I get nervous and veer off on another road.
By exposing what I do publicly I commit to what it is I’m doing. There is no backing down. This was Number 1 and I’m not sure about the fingers I have wrapping around the form but then I’d rather they be there than not be if that makes any sense at all.
This way of working will slow me down. The firing is creeping up on me and I have a pile of obligations to fulfill over and above life’s ongoing maintenance.
My buddy Dennis Allen said on FB he couldn’t draw a bath. How many amongst claim we can’t draw. How embarrassing it would be to confess we can’t read or write but people are so willing to admit they can only squiggle or doodle but never draw. How much time do you spend drawing? None, because you claim you can’t do it.
Here is Tony looking for the heart of Saturday night with a wee shot of tequila and lime, a book sadly called “Drawing for Older Children and Teens ( A Creative Method for Adult Beginners Too) and a table full of pencils, quills, magic markers and my favourite four hours of radio on Saturday night. Vinyl Tap with Randy Bachman, Saturday Night Blues with Holger Peterson and Apropos with Jim Corcoran.
There was a time when I would clean up and jump in the car rush to the end of the road thinking it’s Saturday night I have to go out and find the heart of it. This is what everyone else is doing. What am I doing tonight? Turn around and go home there is a very creative evening awaiting you.
I draw, I write, I make pots, I read, I listen to music, I cook a nice meal, I treat myself to flowers and usually a nice top shelf drink or two. It’s Saturday night and I look forward to it.
Dennis my friend- try drawing on a Saturday night. Don’t let anyone see what you’re doing. Be alone with your art. Be a four year old child again except allow yourself a wee nip. Squiggle, doodle, look, make marks , and treat that time like it is a total luxury to be enjoyed. Seeking excellence is one thing, seeking perfection according to others is a sure way of not making anything creative at all.
I noted a few excerpts that are relevant to what you are writing about and had passed them along to family and friends. Here is a cut and paste form one of those emails.
From the Lynda Barry book "What It Is"
[ L.B. TWO QUESTIONS - IS THIS GOOD? DOES THIS SUCK?
I'm not sure when these two questions became the only two questions I had about my work, or when making pictures and stories turned into something I called work. I just know I'd stopped enjoying it and instead it became work.
When I was little , I noticed that making lines on paper gave me a certain floating feeling. It made me feel like I was both there and not there.
"..... when drawing: one line led to another until they somehow finished. I never felt like I was trying, and the drawing itself didn't matter too me much afterward.]
The next few pages went on to explain how she went from the freedom of drawing in the moment to having her work dominated by the TWO QUESTIONS.
For me virtuosity in any medium or with an instrument in and of itself, while admirable, doesn't deliver the goods.
Speaking of delivering the goods, I may have time today in finding the font of your wishes... can't promise for sure.