Build it and They Will Come

What did we just do?  Such a whirlwind of preparation, organization, socialization, libation, etc. –where does it lead?  To confirmation, validation, substantiation and authentication?  Perhaps.  If we pay attention.

Max Ernst—A picture is not thought out and settled beforehand; while it is being done it changes as one’s thoughts change.  And when it is finished it still goes on changing, according to the state of mind of whoever is looking at it.  A picture lives a life like a living creature, undergoing the changes imposed on us by our life from day to day. That is natural enough, as the picture only lives through the person who is looking at it.

The emergence of an image in art-making is “not thought out and settled beforehand”. It’s a conversation.  One move responds to the previous move, influenced by the light, or the music, or the way a tube of color finds itself in your hand, or even a spill on the page.  Then the act of selecting works to exhibit, deciding if they are what you want them to be, setting them apart with mat and frame, etc., then seeing them in context with other people’s work tells its own tale.

We live out loud in that conversation. When we give it an audience we allow for an exchange, for new perceptions and perspectives. Then it becomes a seed for new work, new ideas, a new conversation. How great is that?

On and onand on—next stop– an exercise to limber the imagination.  We’re going to work from changing slides–fresh paper, any medium (including collage, if desired).

Reflections on the process of exhibition are valuable.  So if you have thoughts during the week, please bring them to share.

This is an excerpt of what Gordon found on the net and wrote in the Caring Bridge last night.  It’s worth a read:

In Henry James’s short story “The Middle Years,” the main character, Dencombe, offers a summation of his life:

We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.

Brian Morton burrows into the passage:

Let’s listen again to Dencombe: “Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task.” I love the fact that he uses the word “passion” and the word “task” in the same sentence—the one so exalted, the other so commonplace.

More than this, I love that he equates them. Our passion is our task. To follow the calling of art, to keep faith with it, to continue with your daily labors despite the frustrations, the distractions, and the other varieties of madness that will inevitably beset you—all this requires passion, but it also requires something else, something more down-to-earth. Call it steeliness. Call it persistence. Call it tenacity. Call it resilience. Call it devotion. Indeed.

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