Sneak Peek and the Last 2 Questions

Here we go: last thoughts on this matter of Lessons from Things.

5.) Can you provide a little information or "sneak peek" on the pieces you've included in the show? (I.e., how long it took to make, what materials you used, etc.)

The Power of Desire, ©2010, collage

I've been working on the pieces in the show for about a month. If I had to break it down, each piece probably took about a week in time, although some came quickly over a number of hours and others over a period of days. Over the years, I've created a studio practice, spending several hours in the studio each morning before I shift identities and change from an artist into an artist therapist.

When Sara asked us to provide an image for the show, I put together a still life of objects from around my home that I love: a white raku vase, a jade-colored porcelain beaker and a palm-sized, brass Aladdin's lamp. Although I began with what I thought was a traditional still life approach, it quickly morphed into an exploration of the shapes through juxtaposition of fabric and paper, trying to create animated but believable forms. It was a lot of fun.

6.) What would you say to all of the other aspiring artists out there?

I had difficulty with this questions because it seems to presume that  I've arrived somewhere when, in fact, I feel like I'm constantly striving myself. The answer below is what I deeply believe.

Persistence, persistence, persistence. Very little happens overnight and real progress occurs over years. Never give up. Always believe that you have a unique voice, unlike any other artist. Have the courage to believe in this voice. Malcolm Gladwell makes this point about persistence in his book The Outliers. In it he talks about the 10,000-Hour Rule, saying that the way to success in many fields is, to a great extent, based on practicing a specific task for a sum total of about 10,000 hours. I haven't been counting--but I may be getting close.

L'Eau de Vie, ©2010, collage

 For the complete article as it appeared in the Monday edition, check out the California Aggie.