Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Working on boxes and listening close

  “Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

Shel Silverstein


Still working on boxes.  Quite a few boxes.  Each a little different.  I used to worry a bit about cohesiveness, personal style and all that.  After a while I just stopped working with pottery (which I love) because I boxed myself in with doubt.  I was checking off boxes of imagined criteria.  Here I was doing this to myself!  I made that choice.  I was wielding that sharpened pencil. Check! Check! Check! No one else had that pencil.  Just me. I chose to enclose myself in my own little box and with a stuck lid! Well, that had to stop.  I made a promise to myself to use that pencil only to draw new ideas and write new thoughts.  To listen closer to my inner voice.
 
Now I am thinking clearer. I am into the process again.  The boxes I most enjoyed making were the ones I had carved and scraped.  I think I will work with this in mind for the next group.  I want to keep them simple with small details and clean finishes. Never mind that they are boxes of my own choosing.  At least they are checked free!


6 comments:

  1. Charlene - I love your boxes - but it's so interesting to read your post about boxing yourself in -- I just read an article this morning about 'self-limiting' thoughts. Why do we do that to ourselves! The most rewarding art making is when I'm so involved in process - I don't think. Silly human beings!

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    1. Yes, silly human beings! Too much thinking! Just do. Thanks, Judy. You always make me smile!

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  2. In the past I attempted to box myself in because artists are told they should have a 'body of work' or a 'style', but I just can't force myself to do it, and why should I; when I'm feeling free to do what comes up unexpectedly I feel so much better. There are certain forms I like making again and again, but also I like to keep them fresh, but I especially like to experiment and each time I do I discover something new.

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    1. It is good to just do love and what excites the artist in you---you can get more done! Then you end up having a body of work or maybe several! I think just getting down to work is the important part.

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  3. Hello Charlene, I really enjoyed this post, thank you, and all the comments too. That pressure to find a definitive "style", to make work which ticks the right boxes and is instantly recognisable..it seems to be even greater now than in the past. It's a difficult issue for many artists and something I often struggle with myself. I prefer to remain completely free to experiment, but I do find myself re-visiting certain themes..it seems to happen unconsciously sometimes. I like it when I'm searching for a solution, and then weeks or months later it might come to me by accident, by a completely unexpected route. This quote from Claudi Casanovas struck a chord with me: "Some pieces I search for, others come to meet me. I have a recurrent memory of walking on a spiral staircase, on which at any given moment I have the feeling of treading again where I have already trodden before. For me there is no lift to go up."

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    1. Thank you for sharing that wonderful quote, Mark. It is a funny thing because I just had a dream about a spiral staircase. I do think the dream was about sorting out what is happening with the house we are building. Still here, with your comment and quote, the symbolism of a staircase is aptly applied to my recurrent thoughts about process and art. Somewhere in all this is the word acceptance, too.

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