No Longer What We Were 9/1/2010

“Whatever the metamorphoses of painting, whatever the support and the frame, we are always faced with the same question: what is happening, there? Whether we deal with canvas, paper, or wall, we deal with a stage where something is happening …… So (sic) we must take a painting as a kind of traditional stage: the curtain rises, we look, we wait, we receive, we understand; and once the scene is finished and the painting removed, we remember: we are no longer what we were…..” Roland Barthes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Barthes

I  frequently refer to the artists both great and not-so-great who have gone before us because they are some of our best teachers.  What we create is built on what they created.  Many of them have style, techniques and devices that resonate with our own and it is always helpful to see how others solve some of the same problems we face when we are staring at the “page”.

Because so many of you have oodles of works in progress and with the open studio coming up, time to work towards resolution might be the most beneficial thing we can do this week.  A little “twist”, however, is always in order to keep the pistons firing.

If  twentieth century French philosopher Barthes is correct and we are changed by looking at a work of art, we are going to spend some time “looking”.  But instead of looking to that which we naturally gravitate for guidance, I will hand everyone a monograph and your job will be to find SOMETHING, some style, some technique, some device, some element, some concept, some subject  that that artist uses to incorporate into your own work in progress.

We only hope that we can “look”  with enough intensity to “receive”, to “understand” and to “change”, if only n a very small, but inspiring way.

See you soon,  j.

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One Response to No Longer What We Were 9/1/2010

  1. Shawn Witkop says:

    Oh that sounds exciting JoAnn! thank you for the inspiration!

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